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What should drivers do if they see a deer in the road?

Posted at 7:38 PM, Oct 30, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — At Chalco Hills Recreation Area the deer are plentiful, but it’s important for drivers to keep an eye out for deer anywhere they go. The fall is breeding season for deer, meaning more potential for deer-car collisions to happen.

"This is what we call their rut. This is their breeding period. This is where we have bucks fighting each other and bucks chasing does," said Greg Wagner, and information specialist with Nebraska Game and Parks.

During this time of year Wagner recommends drivers have the nerve not to swerve when it comes to spotting a deer in a roadway when driving.

"Slow down. Slow your speed, use your peripheral vision and if you see one deer cross the road in front of you, you'll probably see another one," he said.

Deer are low light creatures meaning they like to come out at dusk or dawn conveniently when rush hours occur. If drivers do encounter a deer, Wagner has some tips on what they should do.

"Stay in your lane, honk your horn, turn your flashers on, tap your brakes, that's the thing too," he said.

Lt. Jeremy Thorson with Nebraska State Patrol said animal-car collisions are very frequent and can happen anywhere.

"I mean you'll see deer struck at 60th and I-80 and you're wondering how in the world did a deer get right here in the middle of the city but they're out there," said Thorson.

His mantra: don't veer for deer.

"No matter if it's a deer, a raccoon, a squirrel. Just stay ahead, hands you know ten and two firmly on the wheel and basically brace at that point," said Thorson.

There are some places where drivers should be extra cautious.

"Especially where we have rivers, creeks, and prominent fence lines bisecting roadways," said Wagner.

Wagner said more deer can be seen out on roadways, especially in the next two to three weeks but that the breeding season lasts until early December meaning it's important to stay vigilant. If a driver does end up in an accident, pull over and call law enforcement.

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