AKRON, OH (WOIO) - November is the most dangerous month of the year for deer car crashes in Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety anticipates thousands of wrecks involving deer in November alone.
"This is the mating season for deer. We call it the rut, so male deer are traveling long distances to find a little love in some different places," said Peter Novotny, Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife Officer Supervisor.
Novotny said November is the peak of the rut, which means more deer are on the move.
"They're actually expending a lot of their energy traveling long distances and that's where they cross roads and we have that conflict with motor vehicles," he said.
Last year, the Ohio Department of Public Safety tallied more than 18,400 deer-related car crashes.
Of those, 4,256 crashes were in November.
Many of the wrecks happened in Northeast Ohio. Stark; Lorain, Richland and Trumbull counties were spots that reported the most wrecks.
Novotny said this season seems to be consistent with years past, which is why drivers need to focus on the road.
"If everyone can just take it a little slower, especially during dawn and dusk, hopefully you'll avoid any conflict," he said.
Dawn and dusk are when deer are the most active. If there's no oncoming traffic, turn your high beams on and, if you see a deer, slow down, but don't swerve.
If you hit a deer, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said it's best to move your car to a safe place, turn your hazard lights on and then report the crash to police and your insurance company.