Road experts back TranServ deer campaign
Scotland TranServ’s Drive Deer Aware spring campaign has received support from leading motoring organisation, IAM Roadsmart.
Vehicle accidents involving deer peak at this time of year, as young deer disperse and increasingly cross major roads to look for their own territories. Across our network, Scotland TranServ has identified hot spots on the M77 near Pollok Estate, the M898 at Erskine, A82 between Renton and Alexandria and Dalnottar and Dumbarton, A78 and A8 West Ferry to Parklea Roundabout, the M80 near Junction 2, A725 between the Whirlies and High Blantyre, the M74 between Hamilton and Douglas, the A701 Beattock to St Ann’s and wooded areas of the A75.
Increasingly roe deer are becoming established within urban areas, prevailing in our large towns and cities such as Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Dumfries, Paisley, East Kilbride and Ayr. It is understood that the reason for this is the spread of villages, towns and cities into historic and current deer range. And, connecting these dense population areas are the countries motorways and trunk roads.
IAM Roadsmart’s Tim Shallcross said:
“Deer are well camouflaged and make use of cover such as trees as a defence against predators. Maximise your vision by using your headlights at dusk and dawn – don’t rely on daytime running lights. Watch for the reflections of your lights in their eyes – two small points of light ahead could be a deer looking at you.
“Deer are social animals – if one crosses the road ahead of you, slow right down because the rest of the herd may be close behind and will follow without looking for traffic. Finally, if deer stop in the road ahead, a single blast of the horn for a couple of seconds will often scare them away, but slow down first. Don’t assume the deer will move and make sure you can stop safely if it doesn’t.”
While Scotland TranServ would advise drivers to remain vigilant to the potential of deer wandering onto our trunk roads there are other efforts that motorists can take to avoid a deer strike and potential damage to their car or injury to themselves. The top five driving tips are:
- Be extra vigilant where you see ‘deer’ or ‘wild animal’ road signs
- Use your high-beam headlights (without dazzling other drivers) when it’s dark, but dip them if you see a deer, otherwise it may freeze in your path
- Don’t over-react or swerve excessively. It’s safer to continue on your normal track rather than swerving or braking hard to try to avoid a deer
- If you do hit a deer, try to stop somewhere safe
- Report the accident to the police – they’ll contact the correct authorities who can help the injured deer