Nebraska Department of Transportation gives driving tips for deer season
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — In Nebraska, daylight saving time brings more than just a time change.
It brings deer in the middle of mating season closer to city roads and highways.
The deer, which are looking for food post farmers’ harvest, begin to cross the pavement at increasing rates this time of year.
To avoid major accidents, the Nebraska Department of Transportation recommends that drivers slow down and remain alert.
Bill Kovarik of the department’s Highway Safety Office said swerving only makes the situation worse.
“The first thing is to hit your breaks or slow down,” he said. “If you swerve, you are more likely to cause a more serious crash than you will if you hit the deer straight on.”
Kovarik said two high-traffic areas in Lincoln are Highway 77 and West Van Dorn Street.
“It’s going to be on your roads where there isn’t quite as much traffic, but yet traffic still goes through there,” he said.
Often, these deer are waiting to cross to get to other grazing fields.
Kovarik said it’s important to know that deer tend to travel in groups and to be aware of which way they are traveling.
“If you see one, there’s likely going to be many more deer, and they can be on the opposite side of the one you see,” he said.
Kovarik said deer are less likely to cross the road in the daytime, with most sightings occurring during the hours of dawn and dusk.
Collisions with the animal are generally unavoidable, but following basic traffic laws can lessen the damage to both driver and vehicle.
“The main thing everybody can do is put your seat belt on because no matter what may cause an accident or crash in your vehicle, as long as you have your seat belt on, you’re going to remain in the safest place,” Kovarik said.
High traffic for deer crossings in Nebraska is expected to last into the start of next year.