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One deer, two deer, there will be more. Here's how to avoid crashing into them.

If you see a deer in the road, here's how to avoid a collision

City of Bellingham officials are warning residents to be wary of urban deer, which create a unique road hazard for drivers. Here are some tips on how to avoid an accident.
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City of Bellingham officials are warning residents to be wary of urban deer, which create a unique road hazard for drivers. Here are some tips on how to avoid an accident.

Deer are cute.

Unless you hit one with your car while driving down Lakeway, Barkley or any other street. Then they're a hazard.

Vehicle-deer collisions can be costly and deadly.

So do yourself a favor, and follow these safety tips from the city of Bellingham while you're behind the wheel and urban deer are on the streets.

  • Think of deer as social butterflies. They don't like to be out and about on their own. If you've driven past one, watch out for others.

  • Wouldn't you know it? Deer are mostly likely to appear before dawn or after dusk, when they're hardest to see. So make sure your headlights are on. If you see deer, use your headlights to signal other drivers.
  • Be alert if you know there's water nearby. Deer are often hit on their way to getting a drink at their favorite spot.

"At this time of year, when there is a new crop of deer, there is often a new crop of drivers," said Amy Cloud, spokeswoman for the city's Public Works Department. "So it seems timely to alert them to this potential hazard."

And keep that level of awareness going through fall. More than half of the collisions between vehicles and deer occur in October and November during mating season, according to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea
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