October 18, 2005 – Posted at 3:38 p.m. CDT
CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR -- The fall season is here and that means deer are on the move in Region 8. With more than 500,000 collisions each year across the nation, about 10,000 people are injured and more than 100 folks are killed.
Arkansas officials are warning motorists that this is the time to be alert. The Arkansas State Police works 50-60 deer related accidents every year, while there haven't been any fatalities recently in Troop C's six counties; it never hurts to play it safe.
“This part of the state there are deer everywhere, and it seems like the deer population are getting thicker. And as traffic increases with more people, and more deer, of course you will have more accidents,” said Corporal Doug Thomas of the Arkansas State Police.
Deer mating season peaks during the first two weeks of November. And that means these animals are on the move, usually at dusk, dawn and during the night.
“Watch the road ditches, a lot of times, you'll see the deer in the ditches before they cross the road in front of you,” said Thomas, “So if you see a deer in fields or in the road ditches, pay close attention and slow down.”
Officials say don't try to avoid the deer, it's best just to stop. But be careful...when you see one deer, there are usually more close by.
“If we need to come out and look at it, of course we will work an accident at the scene. If it's minor damage and you can drive your car home, then I advise you to drive your car home, clear the road and call us from your residence,” said Thomas.
Thomas reminds motorists to take it slow during deer movement times and not to forget to buckle up.