Deer on British roads

Don’t End 2020 With a Deer Vehicle Collision!

Don’t End 2020 With a Deer Vehicle Collision! 18/12/20

It has been a challenging year, but as we approach the end of 2020, Highways England and The British Deer Society (BDS) are urging drivers not to close the year with a deer vehicle collision. 


Although deer can be encountered on our roads throughout the year, the risk of a collision dramatically increases between October and December and again in May. This occurs alongside seasonal changes in deer behaviour, causing deer to be on the move. 


With quieter roads due to lockdown restrictions, drivers may be tempted to speed and this coupled with fewer daylight hours and poor weather conditions, make the current risk to drivers even higher this year. 

The high-risk times are from sunset to midnight, and the hours shortly before and after sunrise when deer are most active. Drivers should also keep an eye out for warning signs that will alert them to hotspot areas where animal crossings are very likely. Deer will also often move in groups so if you spot one, get ready for more. 


What Should Drivers Do? 

Reducing driver risk is vital, as this will give you more time to react to ensure the best outcome for you and the deer. We call this DRIVING DEER AWARE and it follows some simple tips: 



Stuart Lovatt, Strategic Road Safety Manager at Highways England, said: 

“We want drivers to know what to do when they come across a deer or what to do in that unfortunate situation if you hit an animal. We take steps to try and reduce the risk of collisions with wildlife on England’s motorways and major A-roads, however we still see a significant number of deer strikes every year. Our advice is for drivers to slow down and be aware of the potential for unexpected wildlife on the road!.” 


For tips on how to check your vehicles is roadworthy, visit: 


David McAuley, CEO at The British Deer Society, said: “As we approach the peak Christmas travel period, we would like to remind everyone to be vigilant and to be aware that deer are about and could be encountered. To ensure you have a safe journey and are asking drivers and motorcyclists to drive to the road conditions and be ‘deer aware’ especially in the evenings and at night. We have seen a significant increase in deer related accidents this year so please be vigilant, drive carefully and think deer! Have a safe Christmas and New year.”


Deer vehicle collisions cause substantial damage to vehicles and numerous human injuries, as well as several human fatalities each year. Please don’t let it happen to you! 


For more information visit:  

Highways England, RSPCA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Funded by Welsh Government, The Deer Initiative Highways England, RSPCA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Funded by Welsh Government, The Deer Initiative