Motorists in East Sussex are being urged to be ‘deer aware’ to avoid colliding with the creatures on rural roads.

Every year there are an estimated 74,000 deer-related traffic collisions in the UK, with the risk of encountering the animals on the road increasing during the mating season in October and November.

Drivers should take particular care in areas where there are deer warning signs or heavily wooded roads, at night and around dawn and dusk, when deer are most likely to venture out.

Cllr Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for community safety, said: “We’re lucky in East Sussex to have some stunning countryside which provides an ideal habitat for deer. These animals may appear on the road suddenly unexpectedly, particularly at this time of year, and the results of a collision with a deer can be very serious indeed.  By following some simple tips, drivers can keep themselves safe and ensure these magnificent creatures can continue to roam freely and thrive in our beautiful countryside.”

At night, drivers are advised to use full-beam headlights if no other cars are around, as they will reflect the deer’s eyes, but dip their headlights when they see a deer to avoid startling it.

Deer often travel in groups so if drivers see one crossing the road they should slow down and drive with caution as others may follow.

Anyone who hits a deer is advised to stay calm, park in a safe place with hazard lights on and call the police on 101, or 999 if someone is injured or the deer is in the road.

People should not approach or try to comfort an injured deer, as it may make the animal more distressed or cause it to run back into the road.

Comments (1)

  • S. Harrigan

    I have to regularly drive to Stonegate Station from Burwash and several times have been overtaken by cars going 50 to 60 miles per hour with complete disregard for the safety of both people and animals on the road.
    The last time I was on the way to Stonegate at night, someone had run over a young deer that was in the middle of the road lying there dying. When is the speed limit going to be lowered from Burwash Community Centre to Stonegate Station and beyond? These are small country roads and the current speed limit is much too fast. There are never any police around either to enforce the speed limit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (*).