Provincial police in Chatham-Kent are warning drivers to stay alert after a transport truck collided with a deer on Highway 401 Saturday.

The tractor trailer was headed eastbound near Kent Bridge Road when it hit the deer around 6:45 p.m.

There was minor damage to the vehicle, but the driver was not injured.

"The number of animal strikes on Ontario roads has increased from 8,964 in 1999 to 12,791 in 2008, according to the Ministry of Transportation. This represents a 42 per cent increase over a 9-year period," wrote OPP Const. Jay Denorer in a media release.

He added November is the "most dangerous month" for collisions with wildlife, which can cause "serious vehicle damage, personal injury, or even death."

The OPP suggests following these tips to avoid hitting an animal:

  • Sunset to midnight and the hours before and after sunrise are high-risk times for deer-vehicle collisions
  • Drive with caution when travelling through areas with a high deer population
  • If you see one deer others are likely nearby
  • Driving slowly through deer populated areas will give drivers more time to react if one runs in front of your vehicle
  • Use high beams when driving at night to better illuminate deer near the road
  • Brake firmly when a deer moves in front of your vehicle, but don't "veer for deer"
  • Slow down, stay in control and be alert