(WHTM)– Deer are everywhere across Pennsylvania right now including on our roads, often when we least expect them. That’s why officials say it’s on all of us to be prepared.
“It’s not a lot you can actually do to prevent the deer you can’t put up fences they could jump fences you can’t necessarily say here I mean we put up signs in areas where there is a high volume of incidents and crashes involving deer, but they can run through your neighborhood,” said Fritzi Schreffler, Safety Press Officer, PennDOT.
In short, no one can really keep deer from crossing our roadways, and when they do the accidents can be severe. PennDOT and Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center officials say they’re seeing more patients from deer-related crashes this time of year. Their message–
“No matter what you do you don’t want to be on your cell phone you want to pay attention a deer can come out of either rule areas or suburban areas or inner city areas there’s a lot of pressure for the deer to move around with hunting season,” said Michael Reihart, Director of Emergency Services, Penn State Health Lancaster.
Last year, Pennsylvania had under 6,000 accidents directly or indirectly caused by deer across the state. More than 1,200 people were hurt in those crashes, even when the driver didn’t actually hit a deer.
“It’s not necessarily that you’re hitting that deer a lot of people will take an evasive action and they will swerve off the road and that is when you see a lot of injuries because they are hitting another fixed object whether that’s a tree or another car,” said Schreffler.
Ultimately, while this is the heart of deer season, officials you could encounter one at any time, so always stay focused on the road in front of you.
“I think the really fickle point of this is don’t have distracted driving be aware of your surroundings know that these happen any moment in time just having a high index of suspicion in these months,” said Reihart.
Officials say in our area, York and Lancaster counties have seen the most deer-related accidents so far this season– but they caution, that deer are moving around a lot right now, so drivers should be keeping an eye out everywhere.