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State Officials Warn Drivers To Beware Of Deer

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The number of car accidents caused by deer every year is at a steady pace, but with the start of deer mating season, the state is renewing its warning to drivers.

Gigi Barnett has the story.

Many people believe they're most likely to come in contact with a deer in nature. But according to the state's Department of Natural Resources, it's actually on the road in a head-on collision.

"Deer are really moving a lot more this time of year. That brings them into contact with roads more often," said Brian Eyler.

Why? Late October and early November is prime mating season. Deer are out in large numbers and accidents spike. There are at least 25,000 every year, state-wide.

"I'm scared to death of hitting a deer," said Patterson Kennedy.

There's good cause for that fear. Kennedy narrowly avoided a run-in with a deer before.

"A deer came right out and brushed by the car, and its lips left a lip imprint on my daughter's side and then some of its fur got caught," Kennedy said.

The Department of Natural Resources says its warning is especially true for drivers who frequent wooded areas. That's deer territory, and the chance of a run-in with them is greater.

"If one runs in front of you, be prepared for more to run in front of you," Eyler said.

And if that happens, don't swerve.

"You're better off braking and unfortunately hitting the deer versus taking a chance of going off the road and hitting a tree," Eyler said.

Experts say driving at night is worse. Eighty percent of accidents with deer happened between sunset and sunrise.

This year, several major insurance companies ranked Maryland the 13th most dangerous state when it comes to accidents involving deer.

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