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Fall Wildlife Activity Increases Drivers’ Collision Risk

Maryland Motorists Should Remain Alert for Deer

Photo of deer running from a wooded area during fall

Photo by Chauntell Hawkins

Deer mating season is right around the corner, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds motorists to be vigilant. During this time deer travel across roads in often unpredictable patterns at all times of the day in search of a mate. Most wildlife species are also more active this time of year, as they search for food to prepare them for the coming winter. 

“Daytime deer activity increases significantly during mid-October through November due to breeding behavior” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “This increase in deer activity results in more motorist encounters with deer.”

Motorists are reminded to:

  • Be particularly attentive in the early morning and evening periods.
  • Gradually brake to avoid hitting a deer; do not swerve as this may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Slow down if a deer crosses the road ahead. Deer often travel in groups and others may be nearby.
  • Stay alert and slow down in areas where deer crossing signs are posted. These indicate locations of frequent deer activity.
  • Watch the shoulder of the road. Be alert for deer standing along the shoulder, as they may suddenly move onto the road. Slow down and sound your horn to scare them away.