Missouri drivers warned to watch out for deer on the road

Published: Oct. 11, 2020 at 9:11 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers that deer are more active this time of year, and that can create hazards for motorists.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says deer mating season is at its peak right now, running through mid- to late-November.

“It’s just part of fall in Missouri," Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation says. "Leaves change color, football is here, deer are crossing roads.”

The Highway Patrol says, last year, there were 4,320 crashes in which deer-vehicle strikes occurred. In the state, there was one deer strike every two hours. These crashes killed nine people and injured 449 people.

One driver, Alex Primm, says he needed to get an entire door on his car fixed after hitting a deer.

“We went around a corner, and all of a sudden, there were seven or eight deer just standing in the road. Like that was where they wanted to be," Primm says.

The department of conservation says it’s not just rural roads that will see deer. They can be found in areas all across the state.

“I have seen deer running across Kearney Street," Skalicky says. "I have seen deer running across Grand Street, just east of Glenstone. I’ve seen deer running across Battlefield, so it is an urban thing too. We have deer within the city limits of Springfield. They are in those same cycles of life that the deer in the rural areas are, which is the mating season.”

The department of conservation warns that deer can be active any time of day, but are most commonly seen in the early mornings or sunset. That’s also a time where vision can be impaired for drivers.

“When possible, drive with your high beams on," Skalicky says. "You don’t want to blind your oncoming drivers, but when possible drive with your high beams on.”

Skalicky says you can use your horn if you see a deer, but you don’t want to steer to avoid the deer.

“Two things could happen," Skalicky says. "You could either steer to oncoming traffic or you could steer off the road into something that could be worse for your car or you.”

Highway Patrol says when you see a deer to slow down, make sure to always pay attention to the road and always wear a seatbelt.

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