Watch for deer along our roads

Driving around the Tri-State Area this time of the year isn’t good for both deer and vehicles.

West Virginia again led the country in collisions involving deer and motor vehicles. Pennsylvania was ranked fourth. Ohio isn’t that far behind.

The odds of a Mountain State resident having an insurance claim because of a deer collision is 1 in 44. In Pennsylvania, it is 1 in 70 and in Ohio, it is 1 in 131.

Deer crashes were down 18.5 percent in Columbiana County in 2014 compared to a year earlier, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The majority of 2015 deer crashes in the county occurred in October (43) and November (50).

Deer are beginning to get active with the approaching mating season and will be foraging for food for the winter months.

Drivers need to be alert for deer, especially at dawn and after sunset, the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.

Drive with extreme caution when traveling through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from wooded areas.

Deer at this time of the year seldom run alone. Seeing one deer most likely means there are others nearby. If a deer crosses the road in front of your vehicle, chances are another will try to follow

When driving at night, use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. High beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer standing on or near the roadway.

If a deer is seen on or near the road, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to try to scare the deer away.

Don’t swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer.

It is actually better to hit the deer while maintaining full control of the vehicle than to try swerve out of the way. The Ohio State Highway Patrol notes more people are injured in accidents because the driver tried to avoid the deer and ended up hitting another vehicle or going off the road into a ditch or a tree.

If you are involved in a deer crash, pull off to the side of the road and call law enforcement. Don’t approach the deer if it is still in the road.

The average deer crash costs about $3,888 for repairs to a vehicle, according to the insurance industry.

Be alert during deer season.