Rockland police are reminding motorists that with the longer nights, the weather cooling off, and the rut heating up, deer are becoming more active.
“Please be sure to be extra vigilant for deer in the roadway, particularly during your morning and evening commute,” the department said in a news release.
Rockland averages around 15 car/deer accidents a year, particularly during this time of year and in the area of Old County Road, Bog Road, Thomaston Street, and Route 17, according to police.
The Maine Department of Transportation (Maine DOT) website (www.maine.gov) also reminds motorists that November is deer collision month and offers some tips for avoiding a crash.
“Collisions with deer increase in the autumn, peaking in November - during breeding season. But they can happen any time of the year,” according to the Maine DOT. “Deer often travel at night when they are most difficult to see in the road and in November whenever you see a deer – you can bet there are more nearby since they travel in herds.”
Maine DOT recommends the following when traveling on the roads during peak deer traffic:
- Look for warning signs that are only posted where there are high concentrations of wildlife and collisions are a problem.
- Pay attention and keep to the speed limit. Driver distraction and inattention, combined with excess speed, often result in vehicle-wildlife collisions.
- Always scan the roadside as well as the roadway.
- Reducing speed at night greatly improves safety.
- Good visibility is a must. In reduced visibility due to darkness, rain, or fog, travel speed should be adjusted to the conditions. Slowing down when visibility is poor greatly increases your safety.
- If a crash is unavoidable apply the brakes, let up on the brake just before impact, aim to hit the tail of the animal, and duck down to minimize your injuries.
- Be alert in rural and forested areas. Deer are commonly seen near fields and orchards.
- Use high beams whenever possible. Watch for the reflective eyes of deer since their eyes reflect light from headlights very well.
Reach Sarah Shepherd at email@example.com