ROADS in South Cumbria are among the top blackspots in the country for collisions between motorists and deer.
The M6 between Burton-in-Kendal and Carlisle, the A591 between Windermere and Ambleside and the A592 between Bowness and Newby Bridge were all identified as having some of the highest incidences of Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVC) in a report by The Deer Initiative.
There are up to 75,000 of the incidents each year in the UK resulting in 400 to 700 human injuries and several human fatalities, according to the report, which analysed crash statistics between 2008 and 2013.
Alastair Boston, deer liaison officer for the group in Northern England, warned one of the worst times of year for collisions between deer and motorists was approaching.
He said the number of incidents tended to be higher in April and May - which was the mating season when the deer were on the move as they established new territories - and also in October when the clocks went back.
“There are a lot of deer residing near these roads (in Cumbria) and that’s why we are seeing the high number of collisions,” he said.
“Luckily, most of the time here people are hitting the smaller species of Roe deer and they tend to go over or under the car and so the accidents are less serious."
People should be particularly alert in the dusk and early morning when deer tended to be on the move, said Mr Boston.
“If you see one deer cross the road then there may well be another one following it and you need to slow down and even put your hazard warning lights on to warn drivers behind,” he said.
“If possible you should also dip your headlights, because otherwise it dazzles the deer and it can fix them in the road.”
Mr Boston said work was under way by landowners to manage deer numbers and he did not think there was a problem with the population in Cumbria.
“It is just a matter of there being crossover areas where man and deer meet,” he said.
“It’s just like being aware that sometimes there will be sheep on the roads, you just need to have your wits about you if you are coming around a corner, there is every chance there could be a deer there.”