US Heads Into Peak Deer Collision Season as Daylight Wanes

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

With daylight savings time ending on November 6th, the U.S. is preparing to head into the peak of deer colliding season.

According to Fox Weather, the Insurance Information Institution says there were nearly two million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 2019 and 2020. With that said, numerous agencies are now warning motorists to be on the lookout for deer as the animal’s prime-time mating season is now underway. 

State Farm also estimates that U.S. drivers have about a 1 in 116 chance of colliding with an animal. Experts further explain that deer collisions make up a large number of crashes from late October through November. 

Clint McCoy, a deer biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife shared what is believed to be the issue. “What’s happening is the onset of the breeding season. The animals have a special gland that perceives the amount of light in a given day. And as the amount of light decreases, as we get into fall, the deer begin secreting hormones. The hormones eventually tell them it’s time to breed.”

As daylight across the Northern Hemisphere, continues to decrease through the winter solstice, McCoy said areas closer to the equator that see less fluctuation in daylight do not notice swings in deer sightings. This is due to mating season happening in cycles during the year.  

Ohio Police Department Offers Suggestions on How to Avoid Deer Collision While on the Road 

While speaking to, Independence Police Department offered some suggestions on how to help motorists avoid deer collisions while on the road. 

The police department urges drivers to be alert at sunrise and sunset. This is when deer are likely to be more active. Drivers should also remain observant when they see one of the animals on the road. As it is rare for them to travel alone. 

If a deer does cross a multi-lane road, it is advised that drivers get into the center lane. It is the best place to avoid animals. It’s also important that drivers do not swerve in order to avoid hitting the animal. “The most serious crashes sometimes happen when drivers swerve and hit another vehicle or run off the road and hit an obstacle.”

Meanwhile, it is also important for drivers to use their car horn to alert the deer on the road. It was noted that some experts believe a long blast of a car horn will scare the animal away from the road. Using high-beam headlights when possible helps to improve visibility as well as detect deer as far ahead as possible. 

Drivers are to reduce speed and be alert near wooded areas or green spaces. This will also help in preventing deer collisions as that is the animal’s habitat.