Fall is breeding season for deer and you can expect to see more of them on our roads. Please be aware that deer are unpredictable and crashes with them are a safety concern.

There are hundreds of reportable accidents involving deer in the county and more than half of the annual crashes occur during the months of October, November and December. Deer are most active before sunrise to mid-morning, as well as dusk to early evening. This is also the time when many of us are headed to and from work or school.

WATCH: Deer Safety in Fairfax County

FCPD urges motorists to pay attention, drive carefully and remember these safety tips:

  • Always wear your seat belt and drive the posted speed limit.
  • Do not text and drive. Avoid distractions!
  • Watch for eyes shine along roadsides. If you see one deer, it is likely that there are others nearby.
  • Use high beams as traffic allows to spot deer further away. Be careful not to disrupt oncoming cars.
  • If a deer is stopped in the roadway, slow down and flash your headlights. Deer can become mesmerized or blinded by bright steady lights.
  • Slow down or stop if necessary to avoid hitting a deer but you should never swerve out of the lane to miss one. A crash with another car or anything along the roadside is likely to be more serious.
  • Take your foot off the brake at time of the crash. This reduces the chance of a deer crashing through a windshield or windows when hit.
  • If you get into a crash with a deer, try to move your car off the road and out of traffic.
  • If your car is immobilized in the roadway, turn on your flashers and immediately call police. Try to wait at a safe spot off the road.
  • Rely on your own senses. Never depend on hood whistles, car horns or other devices to scare deer out of your path.
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs and be careful in areas where deer are known to travel.

If a deer is injured or killed, immediately report the crash to FCPD on the non-emergency line at 703-691-2131.

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