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British Deer Society Urges Motorists To Be Vigilant This Autumn

With night falling earlier, The British Deer Society is asking motorists to drive with extra care through areas where deer are known to roam - especially now the rut is underway. The highest risk of deer on the road is from sunset to midnight and shortly before and after sunrise, as they move down to lower lying ground for forage and shelter. The British Deer Society's chairman Mark Nicolson commented: 'Autumn is the time of year when vehicle and deer collisions peak - so for the next couple of months with shorter day length and often poor visibility, motorists need to be especially alert and cut their speed particularly in countryside areas where woodlands adjoin the highway. Remember - deer are wild animals and don't follow the Highway Code!' The Scottish Natural Heritage have the following driving tips: " Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting a deer. A collision into oncoming traffic could be even worse. " Only break sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following or oncoming traffic. Try to come to a stop as far away from the animals as possible to allow them to leave the roadside without panic, and use your hazard warning lights. " Be aware that more deer may cross after the one or two you first see, as deer often travel in groups. " After dark, use full-beams when there is no oncoming traffic, as this will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and give you more time to react. But dim your headlights when you see a deer or other animal on the road so you don't startle it. " Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the local person who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself as it may be dangerous