Warnings on the risk of deer to drivers

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As the dark nights close in, one of the dangers of driving round Bedfordshire can be collisions with deer on the roads.

The Institue of Advanced Motorists’ (IAM) director of standards, Mark Lewis has issued some advice .

>Good visibility is vital, particularly when low sun causes dazzle – ensure that all windows are clean and clear.

>May, October and December show peak numbers of collisions with deer, so take extra care. The highest risk times are from sunset to midnight, and the hours shortly before and after sunrise – ensure you have your lights switched on to help you see further ahead. If necessary, use high-beam headlights in the dark and only when there are no oncoming vehicles, but don’t forget to dip them if you see a deer.

>Take note of any road signs that indicate where animal crossings are likely.

> Stick to the speed limit and avoid tailgating at all times. You should also avoid swerving the car away from the road as you may end up losing control.

>If you’ve seen one deer expect to see another, particularly during mating season.

>If you are involved in a deer collision, make sure you report it to the police. The police will be in the best position to contact a local representative who can assist with the injured deer.

Mark said: “Colliding with a deer can be a shocking experience leading to trauma and injury for the wild animal and extensive damage to the vehicle or worse for the driver or rider. If you regularly drive in areas where you see deer crossing, try to recall where these locations are and take extra care when approaching them - particularly when driving through rural locations, woods and open fields.”