School staffers came to the aid of choking preschool student. Deborah M. Marko
VINELAND - White-tail deer mating season, which runs from late October into mid-December, is resulting in numerous crashes, the city’s Traffic Safety Unit reports.
Within the past two weeks, drivers reported collisions with deer along Oak Road, Cornucopia Avenue, Garden Road and Elm Road.
“It can happen anywhere,” said Sgt. Nicholaos Dounoulis, who heads up the unit.
“Deer are involved in thousands of collisions with motor vehicles in New Jersey each year, with the highest number occurring during the fall mating season,” said state Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Larry Herrighty.
Deer tend to sprint onto roadways as bucks actively pursue does. This activity, known as the fall rut, is most common in the very early morning and around sunset, when visibility can be difficult.
State officials urge more caution now that Daylight Saving Time ended last week. The time change causes many commutes to align when deer are most active and lighting conditions can be most difficult for drivers.
For drivers, low levels of light and sun glare can make it very difficult to see deer that are about to cross the road. In addition, multiple deer may cross the road at any given moment, usually in a single file.
“Be on the lookout for deer on the side of the roadway as they travel in packs, slow down, utilize your vehicle's horn,” Dounoulis said.
If you’re about to hit a deer, he said, try to stay in your lane of travel as injuries can be much more severe with oncoming traffic.
The state Division of Fish and Wildlife adds:
- If you are traveling after dark, use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead. High beams will be reflected by the eyes of deer on or near roads. If you see one deer crossing, be on guard: others may be in the area.
- Don’t tailgate. The driver in front of you might have to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a deer.
- Always wear a seatbelt, as required by law. Drive at a safe and sensible speed, accounting for weather, available lighting, traffic, curves and other road conditions.
- Report any deer-vehicle collision to a local law enforcement agency immediately.
- Motorists are encouraged to inform the Department of Transportation of dead deer they find along the state highway system, and can share information here
- Municipal and county governments are responsible for removal of dead deer from roads they maintain.
Deborah M. Marko: @dmarko_dj; (856) 563-5256; firstname.lastname@example.org;