IAM RoadSmart is urging drivers to keep an eye out for deer.

As autumn sets in, now is the time where you are statistically more likely to encounter deer on the road, especially between sunset and midnight.

That's according to government statistics, which put it down to being deer mating season. As a result, road safety experts IAM RoadSmart are urging all drivers to take care, pointing out that 'observation and anticipation are key to all sound decisions you make whilst driving'.

Deer crossing busy road

"A collision with any animal is unpleasant and we should make every effort to avoid this. A collision with something as large as a deer will be catastrophic," said IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman. "It will likely cause injury to vehicle occupants and itself. It will definitely cause damage to your vehicle - even if it’s as small as a Muntjac. Slow down a little and remember we are sharing the wildlife’s habitat and not the other way around."

Deer walking on the road at night in front of car

IAM RoadSmart's tips for when you encounter deer on the road

  • If you see deer (or other wild animal) warning signs, be sure to slow down and be on high alert. It is likely they will cross the road in this area.

  • Deer are herd animals so if you see one, it’s likely there are more. Stay vigilant, if one steps out in front of your car, more may follow.

  • Be prepared to stop and try to warn following drivers with early brake lights or hazards.

  • Try not to swerve to avoid hitting deer – you may drive into a ditch or oncoming traffic.

  • You will most likely brake hard to avoid colliding with an animal, be aware that the traffic behind may not be as alert as you.

What to do if you’ve hit a deer or see an injured animal on the roadside

  • Drive to a safe place and pull over
  • Call the police to alert them of the animal and be precise about where it’s located
  • Do not approach the animal - it may cause further injury or another accident