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State Patrol Warns Drivers Not to ‘Veer for Deer’

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Over the last four years, the Iowa State Patrol has recorded a major increase in the amount of accidents from September to October.

On average it’s a 27 percent increase. They attribute the spike to deer in rut and harvest season being in full swing.

“Road and weather conditions from September to October are comparable in those two months,” said Sgt. Nate Ludwig, Iowa State Patrol. “There is so much movement going on. Early hunting season is happening and the farmers are in the fields. That has the deer really moving.”

Sgt. Ludwig says while it’s a dangerous time to drive there are a few things you can do to stay safe.

“Pay attention! You know what areas are prone to having more deer,” said Sgt. Ludwig. “Expect to see a deer. If you are expecting it, when it jumps out it won’t be as big as of a surprise. Don’t veer if you encounter one.”

You’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle if you swerve. The State Patrol recommends just striking the deer with your vehicle, opposed to trying to avoid it.

While it’s never safe for people to text and drive, this is one of more dangerous times because of the speed and agility of deer.

“In the blink of an eye a deer can appear,” said Sgt. Ludwig. “It takes just five seconds to read and respond to a text, that is more than enough time for a deer to jump out in-front of your car.”