JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Now that it is fall, MoDOT is reminding motorists to look out for the “sudden appearance of wild animals on Missouri roadways during the cooler fall months” which are breeding season for deer.
MoDOT said State Farm Insurance reported Missouri is 15th in the country for potential deer collisions.
“As the days grow shorter, more motorists are driving on dark roads when deer are more active,” state maintenance director Natalie Roark said. “This leads to a larger number of crashes involving deer and other wildlife from mid-October through the end of November.”
The Missouri State Highway Patrol saw 3,639 crashes involving deer in 2020. Of those, 348 resulted in injuries and five were deadly.
MoDOT suggests motorists “never swerve to avoid animals in the road.” If a collision cannot be avoided, Missouri law says the person can claim the deer by obtaining written authorization from a Missouri Department of Conservation agent. They also said a person should never risk their own safety in removing an animal. A person should notify MoDOT at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) in order to get a crew to clear an animal from the roadway.
“Distracted driving—particularly when wildlife is on the move—can be deadly,” Roark said. “Always buckle up and put your phone down when driving.”