Driving tips in rural locations

Date Added 07 March 2022

Dear resident,

Corby and Kettering Rural Police have dealt with 2 incidents recently where vehicles have collided with deer on the highway.

At night time, deer are more likely to venture on to grass verges near roadsides as they browse and feed. Deer are more likely to be on the road as they move about to find food and shelter. 

The highest risk is from sunset to midnight and shortly before and after sunrise. Particularly in these peak times, we advise motorists to slow down and watch for deer crossing roads. Be aware that if you're driving near woods, deer can suddenly appear before you have time to brake. If you do hit a deer, report it to the police, even if you’re uninjured and your car isn’t damaged, as the deer may be fatally injured and suffering.

Other tips include:

- Remember the 2 second rule and keep your distance.
- The speed limit is not a target!
- Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting a deer. A collision into oncoming traffic could be even worse.
- Only brake sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following or oncoming traffic. Try to come to a stop as far away from the animals as possible to allow them to leave the roadside without panic – and use your hazard warning lights.
- Be aware that more deer may cross after the one or two you first see, as deer often travel in groups.
- After dark, use full-beams when there is no oncoming traffic, as this will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and give you more time to react. But dim your headlights when you see a deer or other animal on the road so you don't startle it.

Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the person in the area who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. 

Do not approach an injured deer yourself as it may be dangerous!

Be aware that deer accidents are more likely to happen on rural roads adjacent to forests and other wild habitats but they are becoming more common on major roads around towns and cities. 

Message Sent By
Christopher Asante-Ampaduh
(Northamptonshire Police, Police Community Support Officer, NC2 Corby Rural )