11 deer-car collisions in one week prompts OPP vigilance warning
The Ontario Provincial Police are warning motorists to watch out for deer, after investigating 11 car-deer collisions between Oct. 22 and Oct. 25.
Wellington county OPP says drivers need to be more alert, especially with increased deer movement in October and November.
"The deer are coming out to cross the roadway [and] so sometimes they actually run into the vehicle, and sometimes the vehicles hit the deer," const. Marylou Schwindt with the Wellington County OPP told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.
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Police are asking drivers to be especially vigilant between sunset and midnight as well as the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These times, they say, are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions
The OPP is also warning residents about how not to react, should a deer enter the roadway.
"If you're going to hit an animal, don't veer out of your lane," Schwindt said.
The worst collisions often happen when drivers veer out of their own lane and into oncoming traffic in order to avoid the deer. She said braking hard to avoid running into the deer is always a safer option.
Deer collisions resulting in personal injury to to the driver or any of their passengers and/or where the vehicle damage apparently exceeds $2,000, must be reported to police.
Wellington County OPP also suggest the following steps should drivers encounter a deer on the road:
- Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
- Always wear your seat belt. Most people who are injured in car-deer collisions were not wearing their seat belt.
- Don't rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer.