CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol says now is the worst time of year for vehicle versus deer accidents.
Deer mating season typically starts in mid-October, and the Ohio Department of Natural resources says that can be a dangerous time for drivers.
Greg Anderson, instructor at All Star Driving School in Boardman, said the first thing he teaches his students about deer on the roads is to be aware.
He says if one deer is crossing the road there are sure to be others nearby. The best defense is to slow down.
The most active time for the animals also happens to be the hardest time for drivers to see.
“I like to drive near the center of the road when there is no oncoming traffic simply because it gives me a little more wiggle room in the event that a deer runs out,” Anderson said.
Anderson said drivers should rehearse a situation ahead of time to be prepared for split-second decision making.
“Swerving is probably the worst thing that you can do,” Anderson said. “The deer is more agile. They are going to be jumping around trying to figure out how to get away from you, and you don’t want to turn into them.”
Sgt. Eric Brown, with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says anyone who hits a deer should call police immediately and get the vehicle off to the side of the road. In most cases, drivers will not be cited.
“If a deer runs out in front of you that is out of your control and you are not going to be cited,” Brown said.
Drivers should also use the high beams on headlights whenever possible.