Last week, we wrote a post on tips for avoiding car accidents during the fall. One of the fall driving hazards we discussed briefly was deer, which are more likely during the current season to run out onto the roadways can cause an accident.

Today we are going to discuss this hazard a little more in depth after a Connecticut newspaper featured a story on how serious of a concern this actually can be. Yesterday, the Republican-American Newspaper out of Waterbury, Connecticut, reported that accidents involving white-tail deer are on the rise in the state.

The mating season for white-tail deer is currently reaching its peak, and usually runs from October through December. During that time, drivers need to be on the lookout for deer in the roadway so that a costly and potentially dangerous collision does not occur.

Accidents involving deer are especially common during the mating, or rutting, season because male deer roam during this time, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports.

According to the insurance company State Farm, Connecticut drivers will be 20 percent more likely to hit a deer with their vehicles this year compared to last year. The Republican-American reported that means Connecticut drivers have a 1 in 256 chance of hitting a deer this season, which is higher than most other states.

The collisions are especially a risk during the morning and evening hours. A State Farm rep said Connecticut drivers should make a habit of looking down the road for the reflecting eyes of deer and other animals so that they can be prepared to stop, if necessary.

If a driver sees a deer, the State Farm rep said it’s best not to swerve to miss it, which can cause a chain-reaction accident or head-on collision with other vehicles on the road. Instead, drivers should attempt to apply the brakes to avoid the deer.

On average, a collision with a deer costs $3,888, State Farm insurance reports. Thanks to air bags and other safety features in vehicles, collisions with deer usually aren’t fatal for drivers or their passengers. However, a collision could potentially be life threatening, especially if other vehicles are involved.

Source: Republican-American, “Deer in the headlights,” Jonathan Shugarts, Sept. 29, 2014