MDOT: Watch out for deer on Mississippi highways

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is warning you to be on the lookout for deer on Mississippi roadways. 

In 2019 alone, there were over 4,000 deer-related crashes in the state, and according to MDOT, deer become more active and visible on Mississippi roadways from October through January. 

“Mississippi averages over 3,700 reported deer-related crashes per year,” Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT Executive Director, said. “Hitting a deer can be a very costly expense and sometimes it can cause a life-threatening accident.”

MDOT encourages you to follow these tips when it comes to driving during deer season. 

  • Don’t veer for deer. If a deer runs in front of a moving car, remain calm and brake firmly. Swerving can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, causing an even more serious accident.
  • Deer are herd animals. Take extra caution for deer lingering around the same area.
  • Remain vigilant when driving at dawn and dusk. About 20 percent of crashes occur in early morning, while more than half occur between 5 p.m. and midnight.
  • Always buckle up for safety and drive at a safe speed.
  • At night use high beams, when no traffic is approaching, to illuminate the eyes of deer near the road. Make sure both headlights and high beams are cleaned and aimed correctly.   

“No matter if a driver is traveling rural roads or busy highways, the threat of hitting a deer while driving is very real,” McGrath said. “All motorists should take extra precautions during deer season to ensure their safety while traveling.”