MDOT warns drivers to be cautious of deer

|This is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Transportation

JACKSON, Miss. - Fall is a time of change in Mississippi. The leaves change color, daylight savings time ends, and the dog days of summer give way to cooler autumn air. As shorter days and cooler temperatures spread across the state, deer become more active and more visible on Mississippi roadways. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) 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, increases.

“Mississippi averages over 3,000 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 dusk. About 20 percent of 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 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.

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