OH 'DEER'! Cold weather means spike in deer related car crashes

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FOX 46 Charlotte 

It's the time of year when an increased number of deer can be seen on area roads, which means an increase in animal related car accidents, according to North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

"This time of year when the weather gets cooler, deer are moving a lot more," said Trooper Ray Pierce. "They'll jump out at a moments notice."

On Tuesday night alone, Trooper Pierce says he worked several deer related crashes on the Monroe Toll Road. November is typically the month where the most deer-related crashes are seen, with December close behind.

"As North Carolina is growing, a lot of their habitat is being torn down, which unfortunately is causing deer to be in areas they typically aren't. They're on the roadways a lot more."

Last year in November alone, Mecklenburg County saw 91 deer related crashes. Union County saw 125, Cabarrus County saw 66 and Gaston County saw 23.

If a deer does jump out in front of your car, the highway patrol has some tips.

"Do not try to avoid the deer. We tell people to take their foot off the gas and slow their acceleration. Steer into the deer-- don't steer left or right. Unfortunately, you should strike the animal and pull your vehicle to the shoulder where it's safe."

You can press *47 or *HP on your phone if you happen to hit a deer and need help from the highway patrol. Excluding November and December, there have already been 77 deer related crashes in just Gaston County alone this year.