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PTC Police urge caution to avoid deer collisions

With fall’s cooler temperatures in October comes a separate unwanted phenomenon: a rise in deer-related automobile crashes — yes, even in Peachtree City.

Peachtree City police are reminding motorists that deer are more active due to mating and hunting seasons from now to December, so caution should be used while driving ... particularly during the hours just before sunrise and just after sunset.

Peachtree City is a haven for deer, particularly at its outskirts with more rural Fayette County and also in the city’s interior locations around preserved forests and greenbelts which serve as a natural habitat for deer.

Deer are not as inclined as humans to wait for passing cars when crossing a road, however, so its up to drivers to pay close attention to avoid deer crashes, police said.

Following are several tips to avoid deer accidents, provided by police:

• Be attentive when driving;

• Be particularly vigilant when driving through areas with high foliage or low hanging branches on the roadside. If there are two people in the car, ask your passenger for help watching the sides of the road;

• Use high-beam headlights when driving in areas that have deer. This will increase visibility; however, when other vehicles are approaching you the law requires you to dim your headlights;

• Slowing down and using high-beam headlights in accordance with law should help increase your reaction time to a deer standing at the roadside or deer that decide to cross in front of your vehicle;

• Sighting a single deer may mean there are multiple deer directly behind waiting to follow in single file;

• If you see one along the side of the road, keep in mind that a vehicle may cause them to panic and dart out, so slow down and wait to be sure they’re not going to try to cross the road;

• If a collision with a deer is unavoidable, it is usually best not to swerve to avoid it. Brake and hold the steering wheel straight. Turning the wheel to avoid the deer may result in a more serious accident with another vehicle, or cause the vehicle to spin out of control;

• Always wear your seatbelt; and

• If you are involved with an accident involving the deer, notify the proper authorities. Do not attempt to remove the deer because it may be dazed rather than injured or killed and could cause injury to the motorist.



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