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Advice for drivers

Advice for drivers

If you see a deer on the road, be aware that others may well cross after the one you have noticed: deer will more often move around in groups than alone.

  • After dark, use full-beam when there is no oncoming traffic. Your headlights will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway giving you earlier warning and greater reaction time. BUT, when a deer or other animals is noted on the road, dip your headlights as animals startled by the beam may ‘freeze’ rather than leaving the road.
  • Don’t over-swerve to avoid a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch could be even worse. An exception here may be motorcyclists, who are at particular risk when in direct collisions with animals.
  • Only brake sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to a stop as far in front of the animal as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic.
  • Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the local person best able to help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself it may be dangerous.

If you wish to report a deer-vehicle collision or to find out more on safety advice please visit

Many police constabularies coordinate schemes for the humane despatch of animals injured in road collisions.’ and ‘The police should always be advised if a deer carcass is likely to present a hazard to road users.


The British Deer Society campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of deer collisions. More information can be found on our campaigns page.

Support the British Deer Society

Help us continue to raise awareness of deer-vehicle collisions and improve road safety.

How you can help

Donate – Big or small your donation will make a difference.
Membership – Be a member, recommend to a friend, bring the whole family on board.

 A HUGE thank you for your continuing support.

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