CLEVELAND (WJW) — State officials are reminding Ohioans to be wary of deer while driving on the roads this season.
Of the more than 104,000 deer-related vehicle crashes that have occurred in the state since 2018, Ohio State Highway Patrol reported 47% of them took place between October and December, which is fall breeding season.
No county in Ohio is unaffected, OSHP reported, with at least 50 crashes taking place in each one since 2018, but there is a list of counties and specific routes where one is most likely to be involved in a deer-related crash, according to the data:
- Stark County
- Richland County
- Hancock County
- Defiance County
- U.S. Route 30
- State Route 2
- Interstate 71
- Interstate 75
- Interstate 77
Most crashes involving deer are not deadly, but 33 of the crashes since 2018 were fatal, OSHP reported, explaining in a recent statement what to do if you do hit an animal while driving.
“You’re more likely to spot deer when you practice safe driving habits and have your full attention on the roadway,” Colonel Charles A. Jones, OSHP superintendent, said in a statement. “If you happen to strike a deer, if you’re able, move yourself to a safe place, turn on your hazards and report the crash.”
State officials said to be extra cautious at dusk and dawn as that’s when deer can be quite active. They also say if hitting a deer cannot be avoided, the best thing to do is not to swerve as that can cause more damage.
For any wildlife-related questions, call 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543).
Learn more about Ohio crash statistics in this digital map created by OSHP right here.