Travel warning: Drivers urged to be aware of deer as figures show the South East’s roads have the highesst number of deer vehicle collisions.

A beautiful Roe Deer Buck ( not Stag ), taken near Titchfield.''Andrew Gregory from Locks Road, Locks Heath. PPP-180724-110502006
A beautiful Roe Deer Buck ( not Stag ), taken near Titchfield.''Andrew Gregory from Locks Road, Locks Heath. PPP-180724-110502006

There are more collisions between deer and vehicles on roads in the South East than anywhere in the country.

Now conservation body The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which runs from the Hastings area across the Rye and Battle district, is urging motorists to be alert for deer, particularly during the Autumn period.

A spokesperson said: “Whilst deer are a constant risk to drivers, they are especially active during Autumn and Spring, at dusk and dawn. To stay as safe as possible on the roads, please take note of the following advice from The Deer Initiative (www.deeraware.com) and East Sussex County Council:

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Driving in general:

After dark, do use full-beams when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater driver reaction time

BUT, when a deer or other animals is noted on the road, dim your headlights as animals startled by the beam may ‘freeze’ rather than leaving the road

When approaching deer warning signs, drivers should slow down and be prepared to stop

If you encounter a deer:

Watch out for more deer following the first one - deer will more often move around in groups rather than alone

Use your hazard warning lights to alert other drivers

Don’t over-swerve to avoid a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch or tree could be even worse. An exception here may be motorcyclists, who are at particular risk when in direct collisions with animals

Only break sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to a stop as far in front of the animal(s) as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic

Do not approach an injured deer yourself it may be dangerous

In case of collision, report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police:

If the deer (alive or dead) is blocking the road and is causing an obstruction or is a likely danger to traffic please call 999 and ask for the Police. If the deer is at the side of the road (alive or dead), call the Police on the non-emergency number 101.

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