CLEVELAND (WJW) – Deer-related car crashes in Ohio increase in the late fall and early winter months, so it is important that drivers stay vigilant and focused on the road. 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife said deer-vehicle collisions increase in Ohio in October, November and December due to white-tailed deer breeding season. 

White-tailed deer are more active this time of year and may unexpectedly dart into roadways, according to the ODNR.

To avoid hitting a deer or getting into a crash, the ODNR has released the following tips: 

  • Focus on the roadway to provide as much time as possible to spot a deer.
  • If you see a deer, slow down without swerving out of your lane.
  • Keep in mind deer often travel in groups. Seeing one deer may indicate that others are nearby.
  • Use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Watch for reflections from a deer’s eyes.
  • Be extra cautious at dawn and dusk.
  • Watch for deer where the road intersects fencerows, riparian corridors and forested habitats.

According to the ODNR, if you do hit a deer with your vehicle, it is important that you turn hazard lights on and move out of the roadway, if possible. Next, report the crash to police. 

For wildlife-related questions, call 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543).