With cooler weather spreading across the state, deer are more active and more visible on Mississippi highways and roadways. The Mississippi Department of Transportation warns motorists to take precautions to avoid vehicle-deer collisions.
Deer movement increases during the fall and winter months, meaning the importance of driving defensively and staying alert, especially at dawn and dusk, also increases.
“Over the past five years, Mississippi has averaged 3,058 deer-related crashes per year,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “The increase in vehicle-deer crashes in the fall and winter months is partially a result of higher traffic volumes, higher vehicle speed and shorter daylight hours.”
MDOT advises motorists to use these safe driving tips to help avoid collisions with deer:
Watch for deer and drive with extreme caution, especially in posted areas.
If you see one deer near the road, slow down and expect that other deer will follow.
Watch for deer, especially at dawn and after sunset. About 20 percent of these crashes occur in early morning, while more than half occur between 5 p.m. and midnight.
Always buckle up for safety and drive at a safe, sensible speed.
At night, use your high beam lights when no traffic is approaching. The high beams will illuminate the eyes of the deer on or near the highway.
MDOT urges motorists to watch out for deer, avoid distracted driving and buckle up for safety when traveling Mississippi’s highways and roadways.