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Watch for deer while driving

As the weather gets colder, deer become more lively and prevalent throughout Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Transportation has issued a press release warning drivers to remain aware of deer and exercise caution while traveling.
The release states that deer are more active throughout the months of fall and winter, and motorists should stay attentive and drive defensively to prevent an accident. Deer are particularly active at dawn and dusk.
“The increase in vehicle-deer crashes in the fall and winter months is partially a result of high traffic volumes, higher vehicle speed and shorter daylight hours,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath in the press release.
“Over the past five years, Mississippi has averaged 3,058 deer-related crashes per year,” said McGrath in the release.
MDOT issued a few tips to help drivers avoid hitting deer. The first tip is to watch for deer, and to be extra attentive in posted areas. If there is one deer on the side of the road, motorists should anticipate that others will be close by.
The release states that more than 70 percent of deer-vehicle collisions occur either early in the morning, or between the hours of 5 p.m. and midnight, so extreme caution should be used when driving during that time of day.
When it is dark and there is no oncoming traffic approaching, MDOT suggests using high beam lights. The brightness will make the eyes of the deer glow, thus making them easier to spot from a distance.
As always, MDOT urged drivers to wear their seatbelts and drive safely when navigating the roadways during winter travel.