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With the weather turning colder, it's the deadliest time of the year for deer and a very dangerous time for drivers: rutting season.
Three people in Maryland and Virginia have already been killed in collisions with deer this year. Since 2010, nine motorcyclists and three car drivers have been killed in deer collisions in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Thousands of deer strikes are reported in our region every year, and the New York Times cites data from State Farm Insurance showing November is the worst month.
"There are more deer now in the Washington metro area and they are running amok and out of control, and they are mating right now. They will do anything and go any place including jumping across a two-lane highway," says John Townsend, spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Townsend says if you see a deer cross the road in front of you, there are probably more right behind it. He says that stopping — not swerving — is the safest way to deal with deer who dart into the road.
Deer are not the only animals to watch for, either. Twenty-seven bears have been killed on Maryland roads this year.