On my way to the gym in Moon Township days ago, I dodged two of them—deer ambling across Beaver Grade Road in front of the path of moving cars.
Blame it on Mother Nature. It's brains are so scrambled by hormones during the October-January rutting season that deer do not look where they are going and will step right into the path of a moving vehicle.
The likelihood of a licensed driver in Pennsylvania hitting a deer within the next year is 1 in 77, according the State Farm Insurance website. Pennsylvania is fourth on the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to run in to a deer.
"PennDOT statistics show nearly half of all reportable crashes in the past five years involving deer occurred in the months of October and November, with nearly 77 percent taking place between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.," according to PennDOT.
Simply put, deer are most active between dusk and dawn and are particularly busy during mating season. Hunting season doesn't make things easier; deer are on the run then also.
More than 3,000 crashes involving deer were reported in 2010 in Pennsylvania, resulting in more than 600 injuries and eight fatalities, PennDOT statistics show.
Penndot offers these deer safety tips:
- Watch for the telltale glow of a deer's eyes in the dark.
- Watch for warning signs that indicate heavy deer traffic areas.
- Deer travel in groups and in single file so, if you see one, be prepared for more to follow.
- If you see a deer, slow down, tap your brakes to warn others and sound your horn to move the deer.
- Deer fixate on headlights - flashing them may cause the deer to move out of harm's way.