Be deer aware

Traffic collisions with deer can result in injury or death for animals and drivers and damage to vehicles. There are a significant number of collisions with deer in East Sussex, particularly in the Ashdown Forest area. Drivers need to be aware and take extra care, particularly during spring and autumn.

What to do if you hit a deer

Remain calm and keep yourself and anyone with you as safe as you can.

Park your car in a safe place with your hazard lights on.

Don’t touch the deer. It could cause further distress or cause it to run back into the road. An injured deer will not benefit from efforts to sit with it or keep it warm.

Call the emergency services on 999:

  • If anyone is injured,
  • Or there is a danger to others e.g. a deer (alive or dead) is on the road or is a danger to traffic.

Call the non-emergency line on 101:

  • If the deer is injured and on the side of the road, not causing a danger to others.

The police will deal with any traffic issues and have access to specialist Deer Wardens who will know the best course of action to take if the deer is still alive.

If you want to enquire about the deer warden scheme, please contact our Highways team on 0345 608 0193.

Be Deer Aware poster

Be Deer Aware leaflet

How to prevent hitting a deer

When are deer around?

Deer cross the roads all year round. Their presence peaks in April to May when young deer are born and from October to November for the autumn mating season. Take particular care at dawn and dusk.

Seen one? Look for another

If a deer crosses in front of you, it is likely that another will follow. If it is safe to do so, slow right down or stop and wait. Deer are unpredictable so drive with caution.

Be aware

Deer often cross the roads in the same locations. Deer warning signs are put up where deer are known to cross regularly. When you see a warning sign or are travelling through a heavily wooded stretch of road, you should slow down, stay alert and be prepared to stop.

Use your lights

After dark, use full-beam when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a road and help you to spot them.

When a deer or other animal is seen on the road, dip your headlights as animals startled by the beam may cause them to ‘freeze’ rather than leave the road.