Deer are on the roads again - be on the lookout
It's that time of year again.
Frost is appearing on the car, the days are getting shorter and deer are more prevalent than ever on roads.
Taking a few extra minutes to drive more slowly and use extra caution could help to avoid hitting a deer. Deer are especially difficult to see as trees and grass are changing color this fall.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports more than 20,000 deer-vehicle accidents annually but estimates that only a third of the accidents are actually reported.
Be especially alert before sunrise and after sunset. Hitting a deer can cause significant vehicle damage and possibly injure drivers and passengers depending on the crash.
Sometimes hitting a deer is unavoidable, although it doesn't hurt to be on the lookout.
The DNR offers the following tips to motorists:
-Motorists should not rely on deer whistles or deer fences to deter deer from crossing roads. Stay alert.
-Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road. If something looks slightly suspicious, slow down.
-Slow down in areas known to have a large deer population, where deer-crossing signs are posted, where deer commonly cross roads or where roads divide agricultural fields from forest land, and in forested areas between dusk and dawn.
-Motorists should not swerve to avoid a deer. Swerving could cause the vehicle to strike another vehicle, tree or object.
-Deer are unpredictable. They stop in the middle of the road while crossing, sometimes crossing and re-crossing the same path. Assume nothing, slow down and blow your horn to urge the deer to leave the road.
Hitting a deer can be frightening and inconvenient. But if there is a silver lining to hitting a deer, it's that any Minnesota resident could claim it as long as a law enforcement officer is contacted. A permit will be issued for the deer.
Just remember. It's that time of year again and the deer are out running. Be alert.