(WHTM) — Fall is the breeding season of Pennsylvania’s state animal, the white-tailed deer. Deer movement is on the rise during this time, and as a result, deer-related crashes increase. The Pennsylvania State Police offers these reminders to drivers.

In 2021, more than 5,700 deer-related crashes were reported throughout the commonwealth, resulting in more than 1,100 people injured and 12 fatalities. Drivers are reminded to be extra cautious at dawn and dusk, as this is the peak time for Deer movement. Deer like to travel in groups, so where there is one, there will likely be others right behind it.

Pay attention to road signs. Deer-crossing signs indicate areas with high levels of deer activity. Remember to use high beams when you are able to, as light reflects off of their
eyes and can help reveal their location.

In Pennsylvania, two types of collisions must be reported to law enforcement: when someone is injured or killed, and when a damaged vehicle needs to be towed from a scene.

If you are one of the many drivers who hit a deer, don’t panic. Instead, pull over to a safe area, assess the situation, and be sure no one in the vehicle is injured. Next, check the damage to your vehicle. If you are uninjured, the road is clear, and you can drive away, you are not required to contact law enforcement.

If there are any injuries, your vehicle needs a tow, or the roadway is blocked, call 911 immediately. To report a dead deer on a state road, call PennDOT’s 1-800-FIX-ROAD. Pennsylvania ranks among the states with the highest number of auto-animal collisions. Always buckle up, limit distractions in your vehicle, and focus on the road and your surroundings.

Deer-related crashes are not only dangerous but costly. So save the bucks and be safe on the roads.