We are now at the height of deer collision season, and that spells trouble for both drivers and motorcyclists. Deer breeding season, during which young bucks seeking a mate cause does to scatter, often results in more car and motorcycle accidents. It’s especially important for motorists to be aware and drive cautiously.

According to the Times News, deer collision data released by State Farm Insurance shows that Tennessee ranks 29th in the nation for the number of deer-related car accidents. That puts the average driver’s odds at 1 in 223 of striking a deer in Tennessee. Over in West Virginia, it’s even worse; that state ranks number one.

Some deer seek shelter in populated areas like subdivisions and state parks. That means you don’t have to be driving in a heavily wooded area to encounter deer.

Experts say that the most common mistake for motorists is to swerve when they encounter a deer. Running off the road to avoid the animal is often more deadly than striking a deer head-on.

An expert biologist, as well as State Farm, have released tips that may help motorists who encounter deer. Here are just a few.

• Deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m. Be on the lookout then.

• Deer whistles do not always work well. Don’t rely on them alone.

• Keep a slow or steady speed when entering a wooded area.

• Using high beam headlights can help drivers spot deer entering the roadway.

November is the most active month in terms of deer collisions. It’s imperative that drivers, motorcyclists and the like keep a lookout.

Source: Times News, “Look out drivers: It’s deer collision season once again,” Kevin Castle, Oct. 30, 2011