City officials warn drivers to watch out for deer

City of McAlester officials warn drivers to be on the lookout for deer on roadways.

Deer are more active during mating season, from October through December, and the city received at least three calls to clear deer hit by vehicles in the past week. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows almost 2,000 people died in crashes involving deer, including 46 in Oklahoma, from 2012-2021.

City officials ask drivers to be cautions on roadways by doing the following:

• Heed Warning Signs: Slow down when you see deer-crossing signs in known deer-crossing areas.

• Time Matters: Exercise extra caution during dawn and dusk, when many animals, especially deer, are most active.

• Use High Beams: If there's no oncoming traffic, use high beams to spot wildlife sooner, especially their reflective eyes at night.

If collision with a deer is unavoidable, make sure to hold your steering wheel firmly, apply brakes, and avoid swerving. 

Here are some things to do after a collision with wildlife:

1. Move to Safety: If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location and turn on hazard lights.

2. Stay Away from the Animal: Injured animals can be unpredictable, so keep a safe distance.

3. Notify Authorities: If your vehicle is immovable or the animal blocks traffic, inform the authorities.

4. Document the Incident: Take photos of vehicle damage, the scene, and any injuries for documentation.

5. Vehicle Safety Check: Inspect your vehicle for damage or safety hazards, and call a tow truck if in doubt.