JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - For those Arkansans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a warning: watch out for deer.
The AGFC is advising drivers to be on the lookout for deer along the roads, especially after dark. They are reminding people that you shouldn't swerve to avoid it and when you see one deer, more are likely close by.
The commission said swerving can confuse the deer on where to run, cause a head-on collision with oncoming vehicles, or cause you to run off the road and into a tree or ditch.
Instead, they suggest you leave a few minutes early and drive slowly after dark.
They also said always to wear a seatbelt. Not only is this the law, AGFC says the most severe injuries in deer-vehicle crashes result from result from failure to use a seatbelt.
The commission also suggests to use your high beams whenever there is no oncoming traffic. This will increase your visibility and give you more time to react.
This will also help you watch for the shine of eyes along the roadside and immediately begin to slow down.
If you are on a multi-lane road, you should drive in the center lane to give as much space to grazing deer as possible.
They said not to rely on hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off dear, because these have not been proven to work.
If a deer leaps onto the road, maintain control and do your best to brake and give the deer time to get out of the way.
If you do hit a deer or other large animal, call 911 if there are injuries or call local law enforcement if no one is injured but there is damage to your vehicle.
Call the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at 800-482-9262 to report the road kill and never touch an animal that is in the road.
You will also need to report the crash to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Deer breeding season runs from October through December. During this time they are highly active and on the move. This is when deer-vehicle crashes are at their peak.
Though deer may wander into city neighborhoods, they are most frequently found on the outskirts of towns and in wooded rural areas.
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