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Wildlife

Watch for wildlife on the road.

Deer account for several thousand vehicle crashes every year. It's easy to forget that these beautiful, four-legged friends can cause damage to a vehicle, injuries and even death. While deer crashes occur year-round, November has the highest number of crashes. They happen most often between 5 and 7 a.m., and again from 6 - 11 p.m.
 
November has the highest number of deer crashes.


Follow these tips for driving when wildlife is present:

  1. Always wear a seat belt when driving, whether on highways or rural raods. It is your greatest protection in an impact-related crash.
  2. Use high beam headlights when you are able so you can see wildlife better.
  3. Scan the ditches while you are driving. Slow down if you notice an animal's eyes in your line of vision.
  4. Slow down and blow the horn with one long blast to scare deer away.
  5. Brake firmly when wildlife is spotted. Do not swerve because you are more likely to overcorrect and go into the ditch.
  6. Be mindful of wildlife crossing zones.
  7. Be alert in natural cover areas. Deer will often be found by streams, sloughs, rivers and shelterbelts that are near roadways.
  8. Look for other deer if one crosses the road. They seldom run alone.

What do I do if I hit a deer?

If you hit a deer, you are no longer required to report the crash to law enforcement unless an occupant in the vehicle has a physical injury or there is a fatality. Remove the deer to the side of the roadway if it is safe and you are able. If you are unable to do so, you may contact your North Dakota Department of Transportation district office or North Dakota State Radio at 800-472-2121 so they can make arrangements to remove the deer.