Wildlife

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 9AM-5PM M-F

703-246-6868
TTY 711

4500 West Ox Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Dr. Katherine Edwards,
Wildlife Management Specialist

Department Resources


Deer-Vehicle Collisions

Deer-Vehicle Collisions

Fairfax County has a very active deer population and police urge motorists to drive cautiously.

Deer are especially active from pre-dawn to mid-morning and from dusk to early evening – right about the time when many Fairfax County residents are going to and from work or school.

Fall is the mating season for deer, commonly called the "rut", and the time of year when deer are the most active.

Approximately one-half or more of all deer-vehicle collisions generally occur during the three months of October, November, and December.

 

DEER BEHAVIOR

Deer are especially active pre-dawn to mid-morning and dusk to early evening. These periods of activity correspond with the time when many Fairfax County residents are going to and from work or school.

Deer breeding season begins October through December. Adult deer are highly mobile and especially active during the rut.

Deer typically travel in herds. If you see one, there are likely several more nearby.

Deer can be found throughout Fairfax County. Deer are edge species that easily survive in suburban areas and more natural areas including heavily wooded areas.
 

SMART DRIVING

Always drive the posted speed limit. The more conservative you are with your speed, the more time you will have to brake if a deer runs across the road.

Always wear your seat belt when in a vehicle. Severe injuries and/or fatalities are more likely to occur as result of failure to use a seat belt.

Use high-beams when there is no oncoming traffic to improve your visibility. You will have better view of adjacent woodland edges and open fields.

Be aware of posted “Deer Crossing” signs. Signs are placed in areas known for high deer traffic and/or deer-vehicle collisions.

Be aware of “Deer Crossing” variable sign boards. Mobile sign boards are placed in areas known for high deer traffic and/or high deer-vehicle collisions.
 

DEER ENCOUNTERS

Watch for eye shine along roadsides. Immediately begin to slow vehicle if you spot a deer.

Reduce speed and grasp steering wheel firmly with both hands. You never know when a deer will attempt to cross a road. Deer can be unpredictable animals.

If deer is frozen on the road, reduce speed and flash your headlights. Deer can become mesmerized or blinded by bright steady lights.

Never rely on hood whistles, car horns, or other devices to scare deer. Studies have shown these do not work.

Never swerve to avoid deer on the road. Swerving can cause loss of control of your vehicle and greatly increase chance of more serious damage or injury.

Take foot off brake at time of impact. This action reduces the likelihood of deer crashing through a windshield or windows upon impact.

If a deer is injured or killed, immediately report collision to Fairfax County Police Department (non-emergency) at 703-691-2131.

Residents can also request an animal removal from the roadway through the VDOT online work request form at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/citizen.asp.