With deer on the move across Mass., drivers facing new dangers on the road

As thousands of people will be hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday, thousands of deer will be too!

Mating season for our road-hazard friends has officially begun.

As deer will move across Massachusetts, it is creating a potentially dangerous situation on the roads in some communities where hunting is light and populations of the animals have increased.

The State Department of Fisheries and Wildlife is warning drivers to slow down and to look at both sides of the road, particularly at dawn and dusk when deer are most active.

David Stainbrook, a Massachusetts State Deer Biologist, said not to count on the deer to pay attention to you.

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"So you have buck males that are chasing females for breeding opportunity and you know they're kind of preoccupied with that and not paying attention as much as they typically do," he said.

It's estimated that Massachusetts drivers hit deer about 7,000-10,000 times a year, most of which happen in the fall.

Fatalities are usually rare but your car can be significantly damaged.%



Stainbrook said if a deer jumps in front of your car, the most important thing to remember is not to swerve. You might avoid the deer, but you could end up hitting something harder like a tree.

Last week, a collision between a vehicle and a deer in Holliston caught one couple who witnessed it by total surprise.

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"I think it caught her by total surprise. Just because it was so dark and it happened so fast," said Steven Proia.

It turns out the couple is familiar with deer strikes, as the damaged goods -- like the Toyota Rav 4 they witnessed -- end up at their body shop.

The deer are in fact headed somewhere this time of year, said Stainbrook. And the problem is, a little traffic on the road isn't going to stop them.

"They're going to be crossing roads they've never crossed before... a lot of times major roads that are filled with traffic. just puts them at a higher risk of being hit by vehicles," he added.

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