Winter deer warning for car drivers

Motorists in Milngavie and Bearsden have been warned to be on their guard for deer during the autumn and winter months.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) says collisions between the animals and vehicles increase at this time of year because the earlier evenings mean rush hour coincides with their grazing times.

The group has now advised drivers to be careful when driving and to contact the police if they do hit any deer, which are common throughout East Dunbartonshire.

Jamie Hammond, SNH deer management officer, said: “As autumn nights are drawing in, I’d advise drivers to be more aware than ever of the risks of deer on our roads.

“It’s more likely deer will be moving down from higher ground to graze in adjacent fields and this can lead them to cross roads at dawn and dusk.

“At this time of the year, we’d caution motorists to slow down and watch for deer crossing in front of traffic.

“Be particularly alert if you’re driving near to woodland areas where deer can suddenly appear before you have time to brake.

“If you do hit a deer, report it to the police, as the deer may be fatally injured and suffering.”

According to the latest figures from the Deer Vehicle Collisions Project, more than 7000 deer related car accidents happen in Scotland every year, causing around 70 injuries to drivers and passengers.

It’s estimated these crashes cost £5million every year.

Electronic warning signs are now set to be erected on trunk roads in problem areas across Scotland to warn motorists of the dangers.

SNH has also advised drivers not to swerve to avoid hitting a deer and to only break sharply and stop if there’s no danger of being hit by other vehicles.

The group says motorists should also use their full beams at night when there is no oncoming traffic to give them more time to react if they do spot a deer in the roadway and to report any deer collisions to the police so they can contact someone to help the injured animal.

Motorists should not approach any injured animal themselves as it could be dangerous.

For more information visit www.snh.gov.uk