Deer mating is more of a concern than most may think.
'Tis the season for courtship, and according to AAA Insurance, drivers need to be on high alert as more than 1 million crashes are caused by colliding with a deer.
The Ohio Department of Safety said in Ohio last year there were 20,996 deer strikes, and many of those were in October, November and December.
There has been an "unusual increase" in deer-related crashes this year in Ohio, said Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Murray.
"Farmers are in the fields, hunters are in the woods and the deer are on the move. The most active times for deer encounters are early mornings and evenings," Murray said.
Here are tips on how to watch for deer, from AAA:
- Scan the road and shoulders ahead of you. Looking ahead helps provide enough reaction time if a deer is spotted. Also, remember deer often move in groups, so when there is one deer, there are usually more in the area.
- Use high beam headlights if there's no oncoming traffic. Deer may be spotted sooner when using high beams-allowing time to slow down, move over or beep to scare the deer away.
- If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane. Swerving to avoid a deer can often cause a more serious crash or result in drivers losing control of vehicles.
- Be extra cautious at dawn and dusk. Drivers should exercise extra caution early in the morning and at dusk because deer tend to be more active at these times.
- Drivers should always wear a seat belt and remain awake, alert, and sober.