Delaware State Police

Caution! Deer Crashes in Delaware

deer-in-roadway

Presented by the Director of Public Information Sergeant Richard D. Bratz

The Delaware State Police would like to remind motorists that the deer rut and hunting season is fast-approaching during the months of October and November; therefore, we would like to help prevent the spike in deer-related crashes that typically occur every fall in Delaware. Our news releases will go out to inform travelers three different times in the next few months starting in September until December. The friendly reminders will hopefully keep our drivers safe, more alert and will also lead them to slow down during this specific time of the year.

In 2015, there were 876 deer crashes investigated in Sussex County; 391 in Kent County and 524 in New Castle County. Majority of deer activity resulting in crashes occurred during the dusk and dawn hour.

Overall, many of these animal or deer-related crashes occurred along the main corridors of SR 1, U.S. Route 13 and U.S. Route 113 during the 6:00 a.m. hour. During the 5:00 p.m. hour a significant number of crashes occurred on secondary roads.

Please be careful when traveling and keep a sharp eye out for deer crossing roadways, especially at dusk. Deer are even more active due to their annual mating season ‘rut’ in November with bucks chasing doe through fields, marshes and woods. The average white-tailed deer in Delaware weighs approximately 130 pounds, with larger bucks tipping the scales at 180 pounds or more. With the increased white-tailed deer activity, Delaware motorists are kindly reminded to stay alert and to be ready for a deer to dart out into the roadway from dusk to dawn.

A deer crash can result in serious injury or death to you or your passengers as well as serious damage to your vehicle.

Safety Tips That May Help Prevent Deer Crashes

  • Attentive driving and slow speeds are the best ways to avoid deer crashes.
  • Turn your headlights on at dawn and dusk and keep your eyes on the road, scanning the sides of the road as well as what’s ahead of you. When there is no oncoming traffic, switch to high beams to better reflect the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
  • To reduce your risk of injury in a collision, always wear your seatbelt.
  • Be especially aware of any distractions.
  • Watch for “Deer Crossing” signs that mark commonly-traveled areas, and be aware that deer typically cross between areas of cover, such as woods or where roads divide agricultural fields from woods.
  • If you see a deer crossing the road ahead, slow down immediately and proceed with caution until you are past the crossing point. Deer usually travel in groups, so if you see one deer, there are likely to be others.
  • Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten deer away. Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer, as these devices have not been proven to reduce deer crashes.
  • Do not swerve to miss a deer – brake and stay in your lane. Losing control of your vehicle, crossing into another lane, hitting an oncoming vehicle or leaving the roadway and hitting another obstacle such as a tree or a pole is likely to be much more serious than hitting a deer.
  • If you hit a deer, stop at the scene, get your car off the road if possible and call police. Do not touch the animal or get too close. “A frightened and wounded deer can cause serious injury to a well-meaning person trying to ‘help.’ You could be bitten, kicked or even gored by a buck’s antlers. Keep a safe distance and wait for troopers to arrive.
  • Highways and SR (state routes) are often lined with lights, which leads operators to believe they will be able to better see deer approaching roadways; however, due to the increase of speed on such roadways and the lights making deer eyes less visible, it’s likely that deer are actually MORE DIFFICULT to spot, when travelling on highways and SR’s.
  • When travelling during the high deer crossing time frames, each driver should always be considering whether his/her speed would be acceptable IF a deer were to cross in front of him/her at any particular moment.
  • Refrain from looking down, or at something else when you are travelling, especially during these critical time frames, for it’s only a split second that can make the difference between striking a deer and being able to slow down in time to avoid a deer.

New Castle County Deer Collision Hot Spots 2016

new-castle-county-deer-crash-hot-spot-map

 

new-castle-county-deer-crashes-by-hour

 

New Castle County Deer Collisions by Month and Year
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016*
Jan 32 43 33 46 25 45
Feb 31 30 27 34 32 27
Mar 25 23 34 40 37 38
Apr 23 28 30 22 25 38
May 27 24 18 20 31 29
Jun 17 34 22 27 27 25
Jul 19 24 20 14 24 14
Aug 11 12 12 16 16 18
Sep 22 23 26 22 17 14
Oct 86 64 98 75 104
Nov 104 123 123 126 152
Dec 46 46 53 46 34
Total 443 474 496 488 524 248

Top Roads for Deer Crashes in New Castle County

Limestone Road near area of New Linden Hill Rd and Kirkwood Highway

State Route 1 near Odessa

River Road near Delaware City to New Castle area

Centre Road near Gilpin Drive

Kent County Deer Collision Hot Spots for 2016

kent-county-hot-spot-map-for-deer-crashes

kent-county-collisions-by-hour

 

Kent County Deer Collisions by Month and Year
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016*
Jan 22 28 22 29 28 30
Feb 31 11 16 29 20 19
Mar 15 22 35 23 23 28
Apr 26 16 25 19 28 22
May 23 18 24 17 28 24
Jun 26 14 26 22 22 33
Jul 13 14 20 11 22 16
Aug 11 10 13 13 11 12
Sep 17 10 23 11 17 15
Oct 52 45 43 60 64
Nov 75 66 96 93 90
Dec 35 23 33 27 38
Total 346 277 376 354 391 199

Top Roads for Deer Crashes in Kent County

State Route 1, North side of Dover

Bay Road near the Frederica area

South DuPont Highway, Camden to the Harrington Area

South State Street, Camden to the Magnolia area

 Sussex County Deer Collision Hot Spots for 2016

sussex-county-hot-spot-map-for-deer-crashes

sussex-county-deer-collisions-by-hour

 

Sussex County Deer Collisions by Month and Year
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016*
Jan 62 58 46 63 60 53
Feb 63 58 45 68 38 62
Mar 65 60 57 56 59 76
Apr 47 60 72 53 57 66
May 63 63 55 46 57 57
Jun 45 59 64 74 59 71
Jul 39 37 53 40 47 47
Aug 29 34 39 28 53 44
Sep 53 54 46 35 49 37
Oct 117 83 84 122 103
Nov 188 157 180 206 192
Dec 90 68 66 66 102
Total 861 791 807 857 876 513

 Top Roads for Deer Crashes in Sussex County:

DuPont Boulevard, USRT 113 between Georgetown and Millsboro

Coastal Highway, SR 1 near Milton and the Lewes area

John J. Williams Hwy, SR 24 between Millsboro and Rehoboth area

State Route 26 in the Millsboro and Dagsboro area

Redden Road SR 40 between Georgetown and Bridgeville

US 13 just south of the county line in the area of Greenwood Road

US 13 north of Bethel Concord Road and south of Brickyard Road

 

**The Delaware State Police issues this traffic advisory and wishes you safe travel as you reach your destination.**

For more information please contact:

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlJoanna Wilson at 739-9902 

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources PoliceSergeant John McDerby at 354-1386

Natural Resources Police (Fish and Wildlife) would like to kindly remind the public that it is illegal to possess a deer killed as the result of a vehicle accident unless the deer has been examined and tagged by an officer (DE Title 7 Sec. 794). Anyone who would like to take possession of a deer killed on the road can obtain a vehicle-killed deer tag from Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 1-302-739-4580.  For information about white-tailed deer in Delaware, the Division of Fish & Wildlife can be contacted at 1-302-739-9912.

Released: 092816 1401

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