NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As we continue to cruise through the fall season, you might notice some four-legged company on the road that can pose a big risk to drivers.

Nationwide, there are around 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in about 200 fatalities, 10,000 injuries, and $1 billion in damage.

The majority of these crashes involving deer occur in the fall. Why is that?

“Right now is just heating up with the deer breeding season,” explained Garrett Clevinger, the deer program coordinator for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). “In October, November, and December, there’s a lot of breeding activity which involves chasing of deer. The males will typically chase the females around, and so that’s typically what’s causing a lot of these accidents.”

(Source: WKRN file footage)

“Pay extra close attention to wooded areas, specifically areas where you have trees on either side of the road,” Clevinger warned. “Those are typically hot spots to where deer can come busting out of there. You can’t really see inside.”

Besides slowing down and paying attention in these areas, there is something else you can do.

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“Make sure that you can utilize your horn often when you see animals,” Clevinger advised. “Approach them slowly if you do see them, and then usually if it’s at night time, we all know that phrase, ‘like a deer in the headlights’, right? They pretty much stay stunned there, so using that horn and getting those other sensory cues going through their ears will alert them and hopefully deter them away from the road.”