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Nature Agency Warns Deer Collisions More Likely this Time of Year

Image Courtesy of Nature Scot

Nature Scot are warning people across Highland Perthshire and Scotland that we’re coming round to the time of year when deer collisions are on the rise.

They say that as many as 9,000 collisions could occur each year across Scotland, particularly between six am and nine am.

Jamie Hammond, NatureScot Wildlife Management Officer, said: “Particularly in peak times, we advise motorists to slow down and watch for deer crossing roads. Be aware that if you’re driving near woods, deer can suddenly appear before you have time to brake. If you do hit a deer, report it to the police even if you’re uninjured and your car isn’t damaged, as the deer may be fatally injured and suffering.”

Between these 9,000 collisions, between 50 to 100 people are injured as a result.

However, Nature Scot also says that deer collisions are not on the rise but that will be because of the past year spent with quite roads.

Angus Corby, Transport Scotland Landscape & Biodiversity Advisor, said:

“As the government agency responsible for the trunk road network, Transport Scotland requires our operating companies to prepare annual Deer Management Plans to take account of the likely impact of deer on the network and to develop possible mitigation strategies in association with adjacent local landowners.

“The agency works closely with colleagues in NatureScot and other relevant organisations with the aim of reducing instances of DVCs occurring across the trunk road network, helping to maintain road safety and supporting the welfare of the animals concerned.” 

When it comes to avoiding deer and coming into contact with them, they broke their advice down into bullet points:

  • Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting a deer. A collision into oncoming traffic could be even worse.
  • Only brake sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to a stop as far away from the animals as possible to allow them to leave the roadside without panic, and use your hazard warning lights.
  • After dark, use full-beams when there is no oncoming traffic, as this will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and give you more time to react. But dim your headlights when you see a deer or other animal on the road so you don’t startle it.
  • Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the local person who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself – it may be dangerous.

According to them, the increase in deer collisions peak around late May and June.

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