MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

November 6, 2012

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Watch for deer on Oklahoma highways

November is the peak month for collisions between cars and deer, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It’s estimated that about one in every 100 drivers will be involved in a deer-vehicle collision at some point in his or her life.

While hunters invariably point to such tragedies as justification for killing even more deer, the blame for deer-vehicle collisions falls at least partly on their own shoulders.

When hunting season turns deer habitat into a war zone, it’s no wonder that the animals panic and run — often right out onto our roadways.

Hunting also increases deer populations—which increases the likelihood that deer-car collisions will occur. Immediately following a hunt, there’s less competition for food. The surviving deer are better nourished, which can lead to a higher reproductive rate and lower neonatal mortality.

Drivers should slow down and watch the road carefully — especially during hunting season — and use high-beam headlights at night when there is no oncoming traffic. If you see one deer, watch for more, as they travel in groups. Be safe.

PAULA MOORE

PETA Foundation

Norfolk, VA

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