A new DeerAware campaign has been launched by the Highways Agency and The Deer Initiative to reduce the number of collisions between deer and vehicles on UK roads.
Drivers are being asked to take extra care where they see deer warning signs because the animals are particularly active during the autumn and at dawn and dusk.
The Deer Initiative estimates that up to 74,000 collisions take place between deer and vehicles each year; most deer are killed, but thousands are left to die of their injuries.
Philip Gomm from the RAC Foundation said: 'With 1.5 million deer resident in the UK, the chance of hitting one is significant as is the risk of being injured or killed as a result. You are not going to change the behaviour of the animal, so it has to be the responsibility of drivers.'
How to be DeerAware
• Stay alert when you see deer warning signs
• Dip your headlights if you see deer or they may 'freeze'
• Expect more deer if you've seen one
• Be prepared to stop; try not to swerve suddenly because hitting oncoming traffic could be more dangerous
• If you do stop, switch on your hazard warning lights
• Do not approach an injured deer
What to do if you hit a deer
If someone is injured after a collision with a deer, or the car or animal is a risk to road safety, ring 999 for the police or ambulance service.
To report an injured deer to the RSPCA, call 0300 1234 999.