MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Transportation officials are urging drivers to watch for deer as November is the peak time for deer-car collisions in Minnesota.

The reasons for the increase in collisions are several, according to MnDOT. They include the fact that it’s deer mating season, that there are fewer daylight hours, and hunters are out. The fall harvest also causes deer to travel farther, and in large numbers.

According to the Department of Public Safety, there were more than 7,000 deer-vehicle crashes from 2011 to 2013. Those crashes resulted in 18 fatalities and 68 injuries. Two of those deaths happened in the metro, the rest happened in greater Minnesota.

To help avoid deer-car collisions, MnDOT suggests that drivers:

— Be vigilant when driving at dusk and dawn, when deer move between bedding sites and feeding areas.
— Slow down and scan the ditches.
— And don’t swerve. Striking a deer is safe than swerving into another lane, and possibly hitting a car.

Officials also say that deer are not attracted to the salt used to treat roadways in Minnesota’s winter season. That’s a myth.

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