ROADS in South Bucks are among the worst in the country for wild deer collisions, according to new details from a group raising awareness of the problem.

The A404 between High Wycombe and Marlow and the A4155 – as well as the M40 near Stokenchurch - are listed as hotspots for the crashes, which cause several fatalities and hundreds of injuries each year.

The ‘Deer Initiative’ is a partnership of bodies, including the Highways Agency, dedicated to maintaining the UK deer population.

And it is currently promoting its 'Deer Aware’ campaign to drivers by sharing safety advice and highlighting the peak times the accidents occur.

Expert Dr Jochen Langbein said this time of year is especially high-risk for the accidents, which can cause huge damage and road delays.

He said: “Aside from the surge in activity by our three largest deer species (fallow, sika and red deer) during their autumn rut, as days shorten and the clocks go back, peak traffic times also coincide with dawn and dusk when activity of all deer species is at its daily peak.”

There are up to 75,000 accidents involving deer each year in the UK, resulting in 400 to 700 human injuries and several deaths on the roads.

Driving advice from organisation is as follows:

  • Be aware that further deer may well cross after the one you may have noticed, as the animals will more often move around in groups than alone.
  • After dark, use full beams when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater driver reaction time. But, dim your headlights as animals approach as they may become startled and freeze.
  • Don’t over swerve to avoid a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch could be even worse.
  • Only brake sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to stop as far in front of the animal(s) as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic Report any deer vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the local person who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself it may be dangerous.

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