The CLA is urging the region’s motorists to be aware of the increased risk of encountering deer running on to dark rural roads.
Road traffic accidents involving deer peak during and just after the autumn rutting (breeding) season, between October and November, when testosterone-filled males become more territorial and aggressive, and young deer disperse from their breeding areas.
The problem is set to be exacerbated by the clocks changing back on Sunday October 25, when the dawn and dusk peaks in deer activity coincide with high traffic flows on the roads.
According to The Deer Initiative, at least 74,000 deer are injured on roads in the UK each year due to collisions with vehicles, resulting in up to 700 human personal injury accidents and 10–20 human fatalities every year.
The eastern region is particularly prone to these accidents, with the Deer Initiative naming the B1106, A1066, A134, B1107, A1065 and A11 in anaround Thetford Forest as some of the nation’s biggest deer accident hotspots.
CLA East regional surveyor Tim Woodward said: “Drivers need to expect the unexpected when driving through woodland areas. Deer can appear as if out of nowhere and can either freeze in your headlights or panic and run across both lanes of traffic.
“Road users should pay attention for any signs warning of the dangers of deer on the road and slow down accordingly. If you see one stray into the road, it’s likely that it will be followed by a group.
“These can be large animals and hitting them at speed will not only damage your vehicle but also put your life in danger, together with the lives of your passengers and other road users.
“If a deer appears in your path, it’s best to not swerve in case you lose control and hit another car or go off road. Stick to your path and ensure your headlights are dipped. If you hit the animal, find a safe place to stop and report the incident to the Police via 101 – they can also ensure someone is called to deal with the deer if it is injured.
“Any accidents involving a deer and other road users should be reported immediately to the Police by using 999.”
Information regarding deer road casualties or deer related traffic collisions can also be reported to the National Deer-Vehicle Collisions Project website: www.deercollisions.co.uk.