What to do if you hit a deer, pheasant or pigeon while driving

Suffolk could see a rise in car crashes involving deer as we enter peak season Picture: SIMON GURNE

Suffolk could see a rise in car crashes involving deer as we enter peak season Picture: SIMON GURNEY/GETTY IMAGES/iSTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police in Suffolk are reminding drivers of the crashes which need to be reported to them ahead of a predicted rise in accidents involving deer.

Their warning comes following the release of crash data by the constabulary - with many of the collisions not requiring a report to be filed.

Among the collisions reported to the constabulary in the last two years was one which injured a pigeon, which police say does not require a report.

Others included a pheasant and a rabbit, which also do not come under the government's list of animals that need to be reported to police.

The law says drivers must stop at the scene and report crashes immediately to their local constabulary if they involve dogs, horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep or donkeys and mules.

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Interestingly, cats are not included in the list, which instead can be reported to local councils alongside other domestic animals.

Suffolk police were unable to provide the number of fatal accidents involving animals, although three of the 17 reported collisions left an animal with injuries deemed to be serious.

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With the shift from autumn to winter rapidly approaching, there is the increased chance of encountering deer on the roads, with sunrise and the period between sunset and midnight among the most likely time to make contact.

Across the UK every year, more than 400 car occupants are injured in accidents with deer, while more than 42,000 deer die, according to the AA.

Areas with a high volume are clearly signposted.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: "Suffolk is predominantly a rural county which evidently means a large number of deer and other wildlife live in close proximity to the county's roads.

"There are warning signs along the roadside in certain areas where deer may be more widespread such as near to forests and woodlands, and we would encourage motorists to be mindful of such signs and be vigilant."

The AA also lists the A134 in Thetford Forest as one of the major hotspots for collisions involving the animals in the entire country.

The spokesman added drivers should call 999 immediately if a deer is injured or deceased and is blocking a major road as it could cause further collisions.

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