Mating season is in full swing and drivers are being warned to look out for male deer looking for love.

At this time of the year, male fallow deer can travel several miles a day in search of a partner, crossing roads as they do so.

And the most common times for the deer to roam are at dawn and dusk, which coincides with the morning and evening rush hours.

Drivers are therefore reminded by Hertfordshire County Council to be extra vigilant on the roads this autumn.

The deer population in the county mainly consists of fallow deer and muntjac deer. There are concentrations in pockets of woodland countryside and are present in residential areas.

Watford Observer:

Drivers are being warned to be extra careful on the roads due to deer mating season. Photo: Pixabay

It is where major roads pass wooded areas that there is a risk of crashes with animals.

Phil Bibby, cabinet member responsible for highways and environment, said: "We have taken steps to erect deer fences in locations which are known migration crossing points, especially on major new roads, but we obviously cannot protect every road.

"We would urge motorists to be cautious and drive a little slower at this time of the year, especially on rural and semi-rural roads.”

The council has advised drivers to:

  • Reduce their speed in major roads close to wooded areas
  • Use headlights on full beam, when safe to do so
  • Be aware that more deer may cross after the first one they see
  • Brake firmly when they notice a deer in or near their path. Don't over-swerve to avoid hitting it as you may potentially cause a more serious collision with other road users
  • Leave a safe distance to the vehicle in front in case they have to take action to avoid a deer
  • Be aware that stopping distances are often longer at this time of year due to damp roads and fallen leaves