Tennessee Highway Patrol cautions drivers to watch out for deer - WSMV News 4

Tennessee Highway Patrol cautions drivers to watch out for deer

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The Tennessee Highway Patrol warns motorists to watch for dear near the roadways this fall.

In Tennessee, between 2011 and 2015, 22 percent of deer-related crashes occurred on interstate highways.

 In 2015, there were 6,953 deer-related crashes, including 351 that involved injuries and 0 that were fatal. That was up by 8.15 percent from 6,429 the previous year. However, since 2011, deer-related crashes in Tennessee have increased 22.04 percent.

With it being mating season, deer are usually on the move at dawn and dusk.

  • Whenever you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow.  Many times, the second or third deer crossing becomes the one that motorists hit.
  • Be attentive; drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at daybreak and dusk.
  • Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic, causing a more serious crash. Swerving also can confuse the deer as to where to run.
  • When you spot a deer, slow down immediately.  Proceed slowly until you pass that point.
  • If you do collide with a deer, never approach the injured animal.  They are powerful and can cause bodily harm to a human.  Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor.

Tennessee law allows deer killed in a collision to be taken and used as food, as long as you contact the nearest TWRA regional office and report the accident within 48 hours.

For TWRA regional offices, visit the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org.

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