ST. LOUIS – Fall is in full swing, but that also means more deer will be out on the roads, meaning more crashes.

In the next few weeks, the days will be getting shorter and shorter, which means St. Louisans will be driving in the dark more often. That’s also when deer are the most active.

MoDOT says this leads to a rise in crashes involving deer and other wildlife, with most of those incidents happening from around mid-October through the end of November. Both Missouri and Illinois haven’t had good track records when it comes to deer crashes.

According to data from State Farm Insurance, Missouri ranks 10th highest for deer crashes, up from 14th place last year. Illinois drivers hit more deer than 46 other states, ranking fourth in the nation for animal-collision claims last year.

If you see a deer, avoid swerving out of the way. That often results in crashes and injuries. Instead, brake firmly on the road, which is the best way to avoid deer and also avoid crashing your car.

You can also get a deer whistle, which is a small plastic device that fits on a car’s bumper. The whistle creates a high-pitched hiss that only deer can hear, and it keeps them from running into traffic. They only cost about $10.