Whitetail mating season means more car-deer crashes

October 11, 2019 - 6:12 am

It's called the rut, deer mating season, a time of year that increases the risk of collisions involving vehicles and the lovesick animals.

A recent report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol says October and November are the most active months for accidents involving motor vehicles and whitetail deer. Collisions continue to be a big problem through the winter.

Bucks are known to be highly aggressive and oblivious to traffic when they are looking for females. Wildlife experts say drivers who see a deer cross the road should understand there is a strong likelihood more animals are right behind it. 

There are ways for drivers to protect themselves if they know they're about to hit a deer, said David Sullivan, body shop manager at Dale's Collision Center in Blue Springs. 

"Once you know that you're going to hit a deer, you cannot swerve, because when you do swerve at a high speed, most of the time you're actually sent off the road," Sullivan said.

Most drivers do not see the accident coming, Sullivan said, but either way, he believes it is important not to tense up. Not all collisions involve the front bumper.

"They come out of nowhere and they do run into the side of the vehicle," Sullivan said.

Airbags commonly deploy when a vehicle makes a direct hit on a deer. People should not be alarmed if they see what looks like smoke, because that is just powder from the airbags, Sullivan said. 

Most vehicles involved in bad accidents involving deer will not be drivable, so it is a good idea to have it towed, Sullivan said.

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