Police caution motorists to stay alert for deer in the roadways.
Virginia was ranked among the top10 states in the nation for deer/vehicle collisions in 2009. The vast majority of these collisions occur during the deer breeding season between now and early January. Motorists should pay close attention and remain alert at all times, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are active and are likely to be seen quickly entering roadways in herds. Police are posting a mobile sign board on roads where deer/vehicle collisions have been reported in recent weeks, such as Braddock Road and Pleasant Valley Road .
Safety tips for motorists include:
- Deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
- Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
- Deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
- Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles; they may not work.
If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle. Do not swerve to miss a deer. This may cause you to lose control of your vehicle, strike a tree or another vehicle or to overturn. If you cannot avoid hitting a deer, take the following precautions;
- Slow down and grasp the steering wheel firmly with both hands.
- Take your foot off the brake at the time of impact so the front end of your vehicle will lift up and enable the deer to go under the car, rather than over it – reducing the danger of it crashing through the windshield or windows.
- If the animal is injured or killed, report the collision through the county’s non-emergency line at 703-691-2131.
To learn more about deer activity in Fairfax County , check http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/animals/wildlife/management/deer-management.htm.