AAA South Jersey Warns Drivers to Stay Alert During Deer Season

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VOORHEES, N.J. -

According to officials with AAA South Jersey, 1.5 million collisions occur per year involving a car and a deer.

The cost to recover from these accidents can be extremely expensive.

As deer mating season begins, more and more of the animals are being seen on South Jersey roads.

“As soon as the days get shorter and the weather starts to get cooler that’s the time that mating season begins, so the deer start to move more frequently during that time,” said John Stecklein, manager of driving school operations at AAA South Jersey.

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According to Stecklein, accidents involving deer result in roughly 150 casualties and cost billions of dollars worth of damage every year.

You may have already seen a few while driving in a wooded area in South Jersey, and AAA South Jersey officials want to make sure you’re alert when it comes to avoiding deer this year.

“Make sure you have your headlights on," said Stecklein. "If you are driving, you can look for their eyes if it’s dark — they tend to glare in the dark and pop out on the side of the road.

"I always recommend [to] look down the road at the furthest point and scan left to right, especially in wooded areas.” 

He says keeping your eyes constantly moving is a must if you do spot a deer brake into your lane.

“Do not swerve. You may have a car coming in the other direction or a tree on the side of the road," said Stecklein. "The last thing you want is a secondary accident.” 

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And just because you only see one doesn’t mean that there is not a lot more deer in the area.

“They tend to travel in a straight line so slow down and make sure you’re keeping alert for any other deer that might come through," said Stecklein. "It could be a couple or you might have a family. So, always be prepared for another to run out.”

But if it’s unavoidable, he recommends immediately calling 911 and your insurance company — but be sure to stay in your car and not touch the deer.

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