By Mamie Colfox

A motorist from Dorset who collided with a deer has spoken out about the dangers of wildlife on the roads and is urging others to be careful.

Chef Aaron Herringshaw knows only too well the dangers posed by deer after two jumped in front of his car within a year.

He said: “I know what the consequences are and the literal impact of a collision with a deer having been unfortunate enough to experience two incidents in eighteen months. Both collisions were really distressing and resulted in my car being written off."

This warning comes ahead of an increase in deer during the rutting season whilst wildlife is crossing the roads to new territories. The most dangerous times for these incidents are between sunset and midnight and before and after sunrise.

The Deer Initiative and Highways England have teamed up to issue advice to drivers.

Mr Herringshaw said: “Both incidents happened during my early morning drive to work at around 5.30am on roads that I know well and travel on frequently. Both times a deer leapt out of the hedge in right front of my car with absolutely no warning. The impact is quite scary as you have no control of the vehicle in that split second."

He added: “I have always considered myself to be a safe and careful driver – if it happens to me it could happen to anyone. I have changed my driving style to be even more vigilant and I am always on the look-out for deer warning signs. You don’t know when or how a collision could occur – the deer warning signs are there for a reason. They give you that extra bit of information that wildlife is in the area and to slow down and be extra cautious.”

David Jam, director of the Deer Initiative said: “Whilst deer are a constant risk to drivers, they are especially active during autumn and spring, especially at dusk and dawn. To stay as safe as possible on the roads, please take note of the following advice:

“After dark, do use full-beams when there is no opposing traffic: the headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater driver reaction time; but, when a deer is seen on the road, dim your headlights as when startled by the beam they may ‘freeze’ rather than leaving the road.

“When approaching deer warning signs, drivers should slow down and be prepared to stop.”

It is likely that 74,000 deer are killed in vehicle collisions every year. Conservative estimates of 400 injuries to motorists and passengers related to these collisions could in fact be nearer 1000 annually with up to 20 fatalities per year.

To report a deer vehicle collision or to find out more safety advice visit