Hertfordshire County Council is asking drivers to be extra vigilant on the roads this autumn to avoid collisions with deer.
Male fallow deer are searching for mates and can cross many roads in the process, often between dawn and dusk, which in late September and October is during the Hertfordshire rush-hour.
The council’s cabinet member for highways Terry Douris said: “In locations which are known migration crossing points we have taken steps to erect deer fences, especially on major new roads, but because the wild deer population is so widespread we can’t protect every road.
“We would urge motorists to be cautious and drive a little slower at this time of the year, especially on rural A roads.”
The deer population in Hertfordshire mainly consists of fallow deer and muntjac deer and is widespread across the county with particular concentrations in pockets of woodland countryside.
Where major roads pass near wooded areas can produce particular risks and the council is asking drivers to reduce speed in high-risk areas near woodland, brake firmly when spotting deer and use full-beam on their headlights where possible.
Research from the RSPCA shows that deer could be involved in as many as 74,000 traffic collisions, which cause damage to vehicles of at least least £17 million.
To gain a clearer understanding, Highways England is helping fund research into traffic collisions with deer alongside the Deer Commission for Scotland, together with the Woodland Trust, the National Forest Company, and the Deer Study & Resource.