Missouri police are asking motorists to be more aware while driving this fall. Deer are more active through October and November. And after thousands of deer-related accidents last year, officials would like drivers to “to pay attention and always wear [their] seat belt.
In 2020, the animals caused 3,639 crashes. In those accidents, five people died, and 348 were injured. And the majority of those accidents happened during the fall. So in an effort to curb collisions this year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is offering some advice.
“Remember: Rural areas are not the only place where deer/vehicle strikes occur. Drivers in urban areas of the state should watch for deer as well,” MSPH said. “When you see a deer, slow down and proceed with caution. Deer often travel in groups–stay on guard after a close call or when you see a single deer. Natural features also affect deer movement. In areas where there are streams or wooded corridors surrounded by farmland, look for more deer to cross roadways. At night, watch for deer eyes to reflect your headlights, which could give you more time to react to their presence.”
Fall is both hunting and mating season for the animals. So they’re more likely to run out of forests or fields and into roadways. And they’re more active over the next couple of months while they search for partners. Seeing animals on or near the road is inevitable. So it’s important that everyone—even people living outside of Missouri—knows how to react.
“Drivers are reminded that an attempt to avoid striking a deer could result in a more serious crash involving oncoming traffic. Try to remain calm,” MSHP continued. “Overreacting usually leads to more serious traffic crashes. As soon as you see a deer, the best course of action is to reduce your speed gradually while watching other traffic around you. Other drivers may be doing the same, so be sure to pay attention and always wear your seat belt.”
A Wisconsin Deer Gets its Head Stuck in A Jack-O’-Lantern
The deer made headlines after locals started noticing the struggling animal around their homes. The Halloween bucket was latched onto the deer’s face, which meant it couldn’t see or eat.
“It was so sad because the face of the Pumpkin on the bucket was right where her face would be,” one resident told the Daily Herald. “So it was like this sick joke almost.”
After a few days, the Oneida Country Sherrif’s Office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources joined in an effort to save the animal dubbed “Pumpkin.” But before officials were able to intervene, Pumpkin freed herself.