Ann Overton 434-293-1912

Dec. 1, 2014

Deer-mating season means drivers need to be extra vigilant after dark

RICHMOND, Va. – Drivers on Virginia’s roads need to be especially cautious this time of year to avoid the increased chance of deer-vehicle collisions.

Deer-mating season runs through the end of December. Virginia motorists have a one-in-88 chance of a deer-vehicle collision, ranking the state eighth in the nation for the likelihood of these types of crashes, according to some insurance industry figures. Drivers should maintain extra vigilance on the road in the late fall, especially between dusk and midnight and just before and after sunrise.

Motorists should stay even more alert this time of year and watch out for deer on, or near, the roadway,” said Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick. “Please drive carefully and use caution as you travel to and from work, as these times of day see the most deer movement.”

Deer aren’t just active along rural roads. They’re now quite prevalent in developed areas as well. A few common-sense guidelines can help you avoid, or mitigate, a deer-vehicle collision:

  • Drive the speed limit or reduce speed when you see deer-warning signs
  • Use bright headlights when appropriate
  • Watch for animal eyes illuminated by headlights
  • Maintain control of your vehicle when you see a deer, to avoid veering into oncoming traffic
  • Always wear your seatbelt

VDOT working to reduce animal-vehicle crashes

VDOT’s research division, the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research, is conducting a three-year study to identify locations where it can employ various measures to reduce animal-vehicle collisions along Interstate 64 on Afton Mountain in Albemarle, Augusta and Nelson counties because of the high number of such crashes in that area. The results likely will be applied in other parts of the state.


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Dec. 5, 2014