The Deer Initiative

Press Release: Be Deer Aware this spring


Published date: 14/05/2015

Press Release

April, 2015
Notice on behalf of
The Deer Initiative for England and Wales

Top areas for reported Deer Vehicle Collisions announced.

Across the UK it's estimated there could be between 40,000 - 74,000 deer-related motor vehicle accidents, resulting in several hundred human injuries and several human fatalities each year.

Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVCs) are very widespread throughout almost all parts of England as well as increasing parts of Wales. The Deer Initiative’s (DI) research of reported Deer Vehicle Collisions for England and Wales 2008 – 2013 has been released listing the top areas.

The DI together with Highways England is reminding motorists to be ‘Deer Aware’ as collisions between deer and vehicles increase in England and Wales at this time of year. April through to June is considered a high-risk time as many deer will be on the move looking for new territories.

Dr Jochen Langbein, who has been working with the DI on Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVCs) for the past 10 years, said "We have an estimate of over 1.5 million deer in the UK. Although around 20% do need to be culled each year to prevent further increase in deer populations, sadly deer-vehicle collisions account for 1 in every 5 deer killed. This spring alone near 20,000 deer are likely to be killed on UK roads.The daily peak is at dawn and dusk when deer are most active."

The list of areas with the most reports remains very preliminary, as since cessation of data collection at end 2010 the new study funded from 2014 has recently restarted. More data input is required from organisations and individual to build a fuller picture of the present situation and trends.

For a fuller list of road names or areas with the highest number of DVC reports please visit the Deer Aware website. 

The DI says be 'Deer Aware'. Top tips are:

  •  Be aware that further deer may well cross after the one you may have notice as deer will more often move around in groups than alone.
  • After dark, do use full-beams when there is no opposing triffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater driver reaction time. BUT, when a deer or other animal is noted on the road, dim your headlights as animals startled by the beam may 'freeze' rather than leaving the road. 
  • Don't over-swerve to avoid a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch could be even worse. An exception here may be motorcyclists, who are at particular risk when in direct collisions with animals.  
  •  Only break sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to stop as far in front of the animal(s) as possible to enable it to enable it to leave the roadside without panic.
  • Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the local person who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself, it may be dangerous.

If you wish to report a Deer Vehicle Collision or to find out more on safety advice please visit


Notes for editors:

The Deer Initiative

The Deer Initiative is a broad partnership of statutory, voluntary and private sector interests dedicated to ‘ensuring the delivery of a sustainable wild deer population in England and Wales’ ( The Partners include such diverse organisations as the RSPCA, RSPB and The Highways Agency. All the members of the Partnership abide by the principles of the Deer Accord and encourage others to share their commitment and priorities as an integral part of their management of deer.

The DI will be using social media to spread the message and share tips about being Deer Aware.



For further details contact our Media Officer

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Photo by Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2015

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