Although spring seems to be the mating season of choice for most animals, deer prefer to mate in fall, between October and mid-December. The associated courting behaviors significantly increase the risk of deer-vehicle collisions. We have recently averaged three such accidents per year on the Fermilab site, with four in 2016 and one in 2017. Most occurred around dusk and were minor in nature, but this is not always the case.
In one incident, a Fermilab security officer was surprised when a deer attempted to hurdle his vehicle, but ran into the passenger's side of the vehicle at 12:48 a.m. The vehicle hood and right front quarter panel were damaged, resulting in $1,500 in damage. The deer ran off and was not found. The officer remarked that after impact, he immediately came to a stop, the deer fell to the ground rolling over a couple of times, got up and ran off.
To avoid deer-vehicle accidents, follow this advice from Fermilabs Security Chief Bill Flaherty:
Be very careful with evasive maneuvers when approaching a deer. You may easily wind up running into something else.
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All employees and users must take the online training course titled Traffic Safety Awareness, which now becomes part of the ITNA training requirements.