CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Now that it is November and the weather is colder, West Virginia is in its peak time for deer-vehicle crashes.

AAA says that the crashes increase in October and peak in November and December.

They say ways to prevent a crash or reduce damage include:

  • Pay attention to road signs. Yellow, diamond-shaped signs with an image of a deer on them show where there are high levels of deer activity.
  • Stay focused on the road.
  • Be especially attentive in the early morning and evening hours. Deer are most active from 5 to 8 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. Deer are easier to spot using high beams.
  • Slow down and watch for other deer.
  • Resist the urge to swerve. If you swerve, you could possibly hit another vehicle or crash into something else.
  • If you are going to crash, take your foot off the brake. AAA says hard braking can cause the animal to travel over the hood toward the windshield. Letting off the brake makes it more likely the deer will be pushed off to one side or over the vehicle.

AAA says if you do hit a deer, here is what you can do.

  • Call the police.
  • Don’t make eye contact with deer. This can cause the deer to become frightened and it might hit itself or someone.
  • Put hazard lights on.
  • Move your vehicle to a safe location.
  • Contact an insurance agent or company representative