GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. - As the days get shorter, nights get longer, and air gets colder - drivers need to be keeping their eyes out for deer dashing across the road.

Across the state, last year there were 18,000 crashes involving animals, mostly deer. The state's Department of Transportation says in the last three years, there were 54,000 collisions, 14 people killed, and over 3,000 people injured. The total cost of all that property damage? $136 million!

Wake County leads the state in the number of animal-vehicle crashes with 730. Up next - Pitt County with 550. Close behind in third is Guilford County with 549 crashes.

NCDOT recommends these safety tips this fall:

  • Slow down in posted deer crossing areas, and heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon or early evening.
  • Don't swerve to avoid hitting a deer - as this could cause you to lose control of your car or run into oncoming traffic.
  • Deer often travel in groups - so if you see one crossing the road, there will probably be more following behind.