Harvest, mating season for deer means uptick in car crashes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Harvest, mating season for deer means uptick in car crashes

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BUCHANAN COUNTY (KWWL) -

Not only is it fall, but it's now harvest season and mating season for deer, which means you'll see more and more of them on the road.

And that means the number of cars crashing into deer is on the rise.

"Right now as the fall gets to moving, with farmers in the field, it stirs the deer up and so they move unnatural to what they would regular do in the summer time or the spring time," said Trooper John Stickney, a public information officer with the Iowa State Patrol.

Most notably, two people are in the hospital Thursday after their motorcycle hit a deer Wednesday night near Oelwein.

Stickney says the best way to prevent a collision of your own is to drive the speed limit, and be extra cautious in prominent deer crossing areas.  He says deer are particularly erratic this time of year, and you can't count on them safely getting off the road themselves.

He also says if a crash is imminent, you shouldn't swerve to avoid it.

"When drivers swerve, their car goes onto the gravel shoulder, so your car is half on the shoulder, half on the pavement, you feel like your out of control. So what happens is that a driver's normal reaction when they feel like their out of control is to overreact, and their vehicle ends up going sideways into a ditch, rolls over," Stickney said.

He says if you do hit a deer, it's best to drive safely onto the shoulder and call the proper authorities.

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