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INDIANAPOLIS — Fall brings foliage, frost on the pumpkin, and lots and lots of deer.

It’s rutting season, which means deer are very active. Mating season for whitetail deer runs from mid-October through early December.

When deer are out looking for mates, they can venture onto roadways — especially at night — and cause crashes.

In 2018, there were more than 14,300 crashes involving deer in Indiana, according to Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Ringle.

Tips for Avoiding Deer-Car Collisions

  • Be especially attentive during the highest risk-times for car-deer crashes: from midnight to sunset and during the hours before and after sunrise. 
  • Use high-beams if driving at night, when there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Know that deer seldom run alone! If you see one, there are probably more.

What to Do If You See a Deer in the Road

  • Don’t veer for deer — hitting the deer is safer than trying to avoid it!
  • Slow down and blow your horn in one long blast to scare the deer away.
  • Brake firmly and stay in your lane when you notice a deer in your lane.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.

If you hit a deer, don’t touch it. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself, says the Insurance Information Institute. 

The best thing to do if you hit a deer is to get your car off of the road, if possible, and call the police. You will also need to contact your insurance agent to report the accident.

(Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)