The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services department is warning drivers to be on high alert for deer in the road during November and December.
These two months are what’s known as the “rut,” or deer mating season. During this time, deer can be inattentive to their surroundings and are more likely to dart out into the road and into the path of an oncoming car.
According to data released by the City of Austin and APD, there were 50 deer-involved collisions in 2011. There have been 11 so far this year. Nationwide, research has found that approximately 200 people a year in the United States die in deer-related car accidents. Eighteen percent of all accidents involving deer occur during November. December is the third most common month for accidents involving deer.
Health and Human Services advises drivers to be extra cautious when traveling on roads with deer warning signs and to be prepared to brake. Residents should also be wary of male deer or "bucks" during the rut, especially when walking a dog. Both the human and the dog should maintain a safe distance from the buck.
To report a dead or injured deer, call Austin 311. If the deer is dead, callers should be prepared to describe its location, so it can be picked up.