Delaware sees deer strike spike

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An average of four drivers a day have crashed into deer or other animals on Delaware’s roads over the past 30 days.

Delaware State Police are warning drivers in Kent and southern New Castle County to be extra careful as the number of deer crossing the roads have increased, resulting in more accidents.

In the last 30 days, there were 125 crashes involving deer or other animals. Of those accidents, 14 happened around dawn, 28 occured at dusk, and the rest happened between 4 p.m. and midnight.

“Deer crashes can result in injury or death to you and your passengers as well as serious damage to your vehicles and everyone involved,” said Delaware State Police Sgt. Richard Bratz.

The best way to avoid running into deer?

“Be attentive,” Bratz said. “Drive at slower speeds during those times, at dusk and dawn. Just expect that a deer may be crossing out in front of you.” Bratz warns drivers to stay in their lane of travel and apply the brakes if a deer crosses in front of a vehicle. Swerving to avoid contact could make the situation worse by causing drivers to lose control.

Most of the crashes in the past 30 days have been on Rt. 1 and Rt. 13 in the area north of Smyrna to Odessa, and along Rt. 13 from Woodside south to Farmington. There have also been multiple crashes with deer along secondary roads in that vicinity.

According to a 2009 state aerial survey, Delaware’s deer population stands at more than 31,000. That translates to about 44 deer per square mile statewide. With the annual deer mating season underway, bucks will be chasing doe through fields, marshes and woods, sometimes crossing roads in the process.

“Remember where you see one deer, you may have another one not too far behind it,” Bratz said.

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