MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - We're not used to spotting deer on our roads in December, but this year they may still be getting caught in your headlights.
Deer mate in October and November, and that's when we're warned to be extra careful. But right now, local officials say they're getting more calls and seeing more crashes.
"I have noticed a few more reportable deer collisions than years past," says Sgt. Jim Allen, MBPD Traffic Division Supervisor. This is unusual, because mating season has wrapped up and hunting season is in full swing. But Sgt. Allen has an explanation as to why.
"Most of them are up on the Bypass," Sgt. Allen explains. It has to do with all the neighborhood and business developments going in around town.
"You take the natural order of things and you reverse it, you cut away 2,300 acres of woodland to do whatever," he says. "You know, that used to be a natural habitat for a lot of wildlife." And that makes the roads more dangerous for you and the deer. But they can't prepare for it.
When you come upon a deer in the road, don't hit the horn and flick your lights. That can spook the animal into running across the road and increase your chance of a collision.
If you're driving and the deer jumps out right in front of you, don't swerve to avoid the deer. The SCDNR says most serious injuries occur when drivers lose control of the vehicle trying to avoid the deer and instead hit a tree or embankment.
DNR says if you see a deer crossing the road or close to it, assume there are more deer and adjust your driving by slowing down.