Deer Crash Season is Here


Director of Public Information Sergeant Richard D. Brats

The Delaware State Police would like to remind motorists that the deer rut and hunting season is fast-approaching during the months of October and November; therefore, we would like to help prevent the spike in deer-related crashes that typically occur every fall in Delaware. The friendly reminders will hopefully keep our drivers safe, more alert and will also lead them to slow down during this specific time of the year.

In 2016, there were a total of 2,042 animal/deer-related crashes with 1,010 deer crashes investigated in Sussex County; 441 in Kent County and 591 in New Castle County. Majority of deer activity resulting in crashes occurred during the dusk and dawn hour on main roads as well as back roads.

DelDOT (Delaware Department of Transportation) will place signs in all three counties to warn motorists of the potential of deer to dart out into the roadway at any particular time especially at the dusk and dawn hour.

Please be careful when traveling and keep a sharp eye out for deer crossing roadways, especially at dusk. Deer are even more active due to their annual mating season ‘rut’ in November with bucks chasing doe through fields, marshes and woods. The average white-tailed deer in Delaware weighs approximately 130 pounds, with larger bucks tipping the scales at 180 pounds or more. With the increased white-tailed deer activity, Delaware motorists are kindly reminded to stay alert and to be ready for a deer to dart out into the roadway from dusk to dawn.

Attentive driving and slow speeds are the best ways to avoid deer crashes.

To reduce your risk of injury in a collision, always wear your seatbelt.

Watch for “Deer Crossing” signs that mark commonly-traveled areas, and be aware that deer typically cross between areas of cover, such as woods or where roads divide agricultural fields from woods.

Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten deer away. Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer, as these devices have not been proven to reduce deer crashes.

Do NOT feel more secure on highways just because they are better lit than back roads- speeds are higher and deer eyes are more difficult to see on highways- so drive cautiously and remain alert at all times.

Do NOT take your eyes off of the roadway. It’s that split second of changing the radio channel, or reaching for something that can make the difference to avoid a deer.

The Delaware State Police issues this traffic advisory and wishes you safe travel as you reach your destination.

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