Motorists warned about the dangers of deer crossing roads this autumn in Hertfordshire

It is the time of the year when there is an extra hazard to be aware of on the roads.

Hertfordshire County Council is warning motorists about the heightened risk of deer-vehicle collisions during the autumn.

Stock photo

Stock photo

At this time of year the male fallow deer is unpredictable and can travel several miles a day in search of a mate, crossing roads in the process.

The most common times for the male deer to roam are at dawn and dusk, which in October coincides with the morning and evening rush-hours.

Phil Bibby, cabinet member for highways and environment, said: "We have taken steps to erect deer fences in locations which are known migration crossing points, especially on major new roads, but we obviously cannot protect every road.

"We would urge motorists to be cautious and drive a little slower at this time of the year, especially on rural and semi-rural roads.”

Basic safety tips to avoid collisions with deer include:

• Reduce your speed in high risk areas such as wooded areas close to major roads
• Use your headlights on full beam, when safe to do so
• Be aware that more deer may cross after the first one you see
• Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path. Don't over-swerve to avoid hitting it as you may potentially cause a more serious collision with other road users
• Leave a safe distance to the vehicle in front in case they have to take action to avoid a deer
• Be aware that stopping distances are often longer at this time of year due to damp roads and fallen leaves