Drivers Warned to Watch Out For Deer on the Road – Rutting Season in Action

Who killed Bambi? Don’t let it be you, as drivers are bring warned to watch the road for deer this autumn.

In Bristol, you are never far from a rural road, with plenty of countryside in Greater Bristol and being a stone’s throw from Somerset. But did you know that at this time of year, the chances of hitting a deer whilst driving are much higher?

Highways England and The Deer Initiative are working together again to warn drivers about the danger of colliding with deer.

An estimated 74,000 deer are hit in collisions each year. Between 400-700 injuries are occurring to drivers and passengers, resulting in 20 deaths.

“Safety is our top priority, which is why we care about people’s journeys,” Senior principle environmental adviser at Highways England, Tony Sangwine said. “We are working with The Deer Initiative to warn motorists about the risks caused by deer, when they suddenly appear on the road, particularly at both dawn and dusk.”

“With most deer movement coinciding with key commuting hours, we are urging drivers to be more aware during this time of year so that they can complete their journeys safely and without incident.”

Around 2 million deer live in the UK, with most on the move between October and December during rutting season.


Highways England’s advice on staying safe is:

– When you see deer warning signs or are travelling through a heavily wooded or forested stretch of road, check your speed and stay alert.

– If your headlights are on, use full-beams when you can; but dip them if you see deer, as they may ‘freeze’.

– More deer may follow the first one you see.

– Be prepared to stop. Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer. Hitting oncoming traffic or another obstacle could be even worse.

– If you have to stop, use your hazard warning lights.

– Do not approach an injured deer – it could be dangerous.

Deer Aware will be running a safety campaign on social media for drivers throughout October and into November. Drivers are encouraged to follow DeerAware on twitter or facebook, or visit for hotspot notifications during this period.

If you are involved in a deer vehicle collision and require assistance please contact the police. If you need to report a deer vehicle collision or to find out more on safety advice please visit: The Deer Aware website exists to offer basic advice on how to avoid a collision and to collect data on the number of accidents.


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