Special to the News-Standard
LUFKIN — Deer season in East Texas is scheduled to begin Saturday, Nov. 6. With the increased activity in wooded areas and along with the cooler weather, the deer population will be on the move. Motorists are urged to stay alert in pre-dawn hours and just after sunset.
Crashes involving a vehicle versus deer are already beginning to occur and TxDOT wants to remind drivers of the dangers involved with deer hits.
“The increased traffic and the scent of humans in East Texas rural wooded areas will drive deer to move, which many times means they will cross the roadway,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer. “Pre-dawn and sunset are normally when we see a deer versus vehicle crash. Pay attention to deer crossing signs in rural areas and reduce speed. Keep your eyes on the roadway and scan the wood line and shoulders especially during these times.”
Safety tips that could help motorists avoid a crash include:
• Reduce speed if you see a deer near the edge of the roadway. Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others could be nearby.
• When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of the deer.
• Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer.
• Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near the road but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid hitting a deer.
• Always wear your seatbelt.
• If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. Move your car off the road, if possible, and call 911. Remain in your vehicle. It is the safest place. Many secondary crashes occur due to pedestrians in the roadway.