Warning to drivers in southern Scotland to look out for deer on roads

Credit: NatureScot

Drivers in southern Scotland are being warned to look out for deer on the roads.

NatureScot say the animals look for their own territories in June which means there is more chance of them being seen on the road.

It’s estimated that collisions between deer and vehicles could be as high as 9,000 per year in Scotland, resulting in 50 to 100 human injuries.

The majority of collisions take place in early evening through to midnight, with another peak occurring from 6am to 9am.

Any collisions with deer should be reported to the police.


Driving tips to avoid deer include:

  • Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting a deer. A collision into oncoming traffic could be even worse.

  • Only brake sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to a stop as far away from the animals as possible to allow them to leave the roadside without panic, and use your hazard warning lights.

  • After dark, use full-beams when there is no oncoming traffic, as this will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and give you more time to react. But dim your headlights when you see a deer or other animal on the road so you don’t startle it.

  • Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the local person who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself – it may be dangerous.


Jamie Hammond, NatureScot Wildlife Management Officer, said: "Particularly in peak times, we advise motorists to slow down and watch for deer crossing roads.

"Be aware that if you're driving near woods, deer can suddenly appear before you have time to brake.

"If you do hit a deer, report it to the police even if you’re uninjured and your car isn’t damaged, as the deer may be fatally injured and suffering."