By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A major insurance company includes Maryland as one of the states where you are most likely to be involved in an accident with a deer.

Mike Schuh
has been going over their numbers and reports on what to look for.

Rush hour is the riskiest time to be out on the road. Deer are beginning to be active and this is the month when they temporarily lose their minds, looking for mates.

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These beautiful creatures cause over a billion dollars in ugly damage every year. Half of all deer accidents happen in November. The reason they jump out of the woods now is crystal clear.

“There’s positively a change in their behavior,” said Paul Peditto, Department of National Resources wildlife director. “It’s just that they’re a lot more attentive to breeding now and that makes them less aware of the rest of their surroundings.”

It’s usually the bucks who are involved, and the number of accidents is up 21 percent from five years ago.

Where are the most dangerous spots for you?  You may already know the answer.

“What you should do is be aware of places you’ve seen deer in the past,” Peditto said. “If you see yesterday, you’ll see again.”

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But most importantly, you have to unlearn a lifetime of driving skills if you come upon a deer. Don’t swerve, hit the deer.

“It’s almost always a worse outcome if you swerve into a fixed object, off the road, pole or oncoming vehicle, trying to avoid that deer,” Peditto said.

Eighty percent of accidents happen between sunset and sunrise.

“Two words: slow down,” Peditto said. “If you can’t remember that, slow down.”

Experts say if you’re going to hit the deer don’t stay on the brakes all the way up to impact. Right before you hit, take your foot off the brake. The nose of the car comes up and there is less of a chance that the animal will come up over the hood and through the windshield.

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Some 200 people per year die after being involved in an accident with a deer.