Welcome to the time of the year where your vehicle is most likely to meet a wild animal.

Deer mating season begins to hit its stride in late November, and according to state wildlife officials, the chances of you hitting one on the highway rises dramatically.

Bucks start to aggressively seek out mating partners in the late fall as they look for a place to have their fawns in the spring. The upcoming breeding season, combined with hunting season, has deer on the move.

As they begin to roam around the countryside, all too often they make the wrong love connection and end up connecting with your high speed moving car or truck.

The Capitol Journal is reporting that South Dakota drivers end up hitting on average around 4,600 wild animals on an annual basis, those wildlife accidents result in an average of two human fatalities and 82 injuries each year.

As of November 3, (2016) South Dakota currently stands at 3,172 recorded animal accidents. Three people have been killed so far this year due to vehicle-deer collisions, another 56 injured.

According to Lee Axdahl, the South Dakota Department of Highway Safety Director, keeping your eyes on the road at all times, especially during this time of the year is your best defense against any highway accident.

Wildlife experts will be the first to tell you, should you encounter a deer while driving, don't swerve. Hit it. If no one is tailgating you at the time, hit your brakes. If your driving situation dictates that you're unable to do that, due to icy roads or inclement weather, then hit the deer. Remember cars can always be fixed. People, on the other hand, that's a little more complicated.

South Dakota ranks fifth in the nation when it comes to car-deer collisions according to recent data from State Farm Insurance. Motorists face a 1-in-70 chance of hitting a deer anytime they’re on the road while driving in South Dakota.

Source: Capitol Journal

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