East Sussex drivers asked to keep an eye out for deer on the roads

There are an estimated 74,000 deer-related traffic collisions in the UK every year. Credit: PA

Drivers are being asked to keep an eye out for deer whilst on the roads this spring to avoid colliding with the animals.

With an estimated 74,000 deer-related traffic collisions in the UK every year, the risk of encountering the animals increases in April and May when young deer are born.

East Sussex County Council is reminding people to be 'deer aware' when driving on rural roads as the animals may appear on the road unexpectedly.

There are warning signs in areas where deer are known to cross roads regularly. More signs have recently been put in place across the county.

Drivers are advised to slow down, stay alert and be prepared to stop when they see a warning sign or are travelling through a heavily wooded stretch of road.

People are being urged to take extra care at night and around dawn and dusk when deer are most likely to venture out.

The Deer Initiative offers tips to help drivers stay safe on rural roads.

Drivers are advised to use full-beam headlights at night if no other cars are around, as they will reflect the deer’s eyes, but dip their headlights when they see a deer to avoid startling it.

Deer often travel in groups so if drivers see one crossing the road they should slow down and drive with caution as others may follow.

Anyone who hits a deer is advised to stay calm, park in a safe place with hazard lights on and call the police on 101, or 999 if someone is injured or the deer is in the road.

People should not approach or try to comfort an injured deer, as it may make the animal more distressed or cause it to run back into the road.

Deer are also more likely to be seen on rural roads from October to November for the autumn mating season.

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