Motorists Urged to Watch Out for Deer Crossing Roadways

Onset of Peak Deer Activity Calls for Vigilance at Dawn, Dusk and Night

Late October through November is prime time for increased white-tailed deer activity in Delaware, leading up to their peak mating season in mid-November. With more deer crossing roadways in the shorter days ahead, especially after the Nov. 7 change from daylight saving time back to Eastern Standard Time, motorists are urged to be on high alert to avoid collisions with these large animals.

“Bucks are very single-minded in their pursuit of does during the rut, their mating season, which lasts from October to December and peaks from Nov. 10 to 20. If that pursuit takes a buck or doe across a roadway in front of your vehicle, that’s where they’re going to go, whether it’s Route 1 or a rural road,” said Wildlife Program Manager Joe Rogerson with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “Drivers should pay particular attention on roads bordered by woods or agricultural fields, since deer typically cross between areas of cover, but not always.”

Although deer in roadways are a year-round hazard, national and state statistics indicate the last three months of the year are the most likely time for accidents. In 2020, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) reported a rise in collisions between vehicles and deer on Delaware roadways starting in October with 218 crashes. That number peaked in November with a total of 337 crashes, followed by 153 in December.

From September 2020 through February 2021, there were a total of 1,004 crashes throughout the state involving deer. And along with property damage that comes with a deer collision, 3.7% of those crashes also resulted in a personal injury.

Deer tend to be most active in the early morning and at dusk. According to the latest OHS data, deer-vehicle collisions occur most often between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and spike again from 6 p.m. to midnight — including the timeframe when many people are heading home for the evening.

“We know this is the time of year when deer are out along the roadways in higher numbers and we have shorter daylight hours,” said Kimberly Chesser, director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “That means drivers need to be more cautious around dusk and dawn, slow down and use your high-beams when possible to see further ahead and illuminate deer along the road.”

According to Delaware State Police (DSP), more than 1,700 crashes involving animals occurred on Delaware roads in 2020, 74 of which caused personal injuries. No fatalities were reported.

“Deer crashes are more prevalent this time of year and drivers must maintain full attention while driving,” said Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, Delaware State Police. “Deer will dart across any of the roadways on a frequent basis, especially in the fall, but keep in mind they may also cross during the day or in areas where there is ample lighting at night. Be cautious and scan the sides of the roadways as you’re driving. This may not always prevent a deer-related crash, but it can certainly help minimize damage and/or injuries.”

The average white-tailed deer in Delaware weighs about 130 pounds, with larger bucks tipping the scales at 200 pounds or more, according to DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. Hitting an animal that size can do serious and expensive damage to vehicles. Such a collision may also cause injury to drivers or passengers or trigger an accident involving other motorists.

To avoid a large out-of-pocket expense, AAA recommends purchasing an auto policy including comprehensive coverage, which covers collisions with deer or other animals. AAA Mid-Atlantic notes the average claim submitted to AAA Insurance for a deer strike is more than $5,000.

Based on reported insurance claims from July 1, 2020 to June 20, 2021, State Farm Insurance ranked Delaware 27th in the nation, with state motorists having a 1-in-105 chance of being involved in an animal collision. Deer account for the majority of animal-related crashes and vehicle damage claims.

DNREC, OHS, police agencies and auto insurance companies all agree: the best way to prevent or lessen the severity of deer collisions is attentive driving, which includes avoiding distractions that might take a driver’s eyes off the road, such as mobile phones, adjusting the radio, eating or passenger activities.

Additional safety tips include:

  • Always wear your seatbelt to reduce your risk of injury in a collision.
  • Reduce speed at night, on curves and in bad weather.
  • Switch to high beams when there is no oncoming traffic to better reflect the eyes of deer on or near the roadway and scan the sides of the road as well as what’s directly ahead.
  • Watch for “Deer Crossing” signs marking commonly-traveled areas by deer on the road ahead. Slow down immediately and proceed with caution until past the crossing point.
  • Deer usually travel in groups, so if you see one deer, there are likely to be others.
  • Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten deer away. Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer, as these devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
  • Do not swerve to miss a deer — brake and stay in your lane. Losing control of your vehicle, crossing into another lane, hitting an oncoming vehicle, or leaving the roadway and striking a tree or utility pole will likely be a much more serious outcome than hitting a deer.
  • If you hit a deer, and your vehicle is damaged, stop at the scene, get your car off the road if possible, turn on your vehicle hazard lights and if you are injured, call 911.
  • Do not touch the animal or get too close; an injured deer may bite or kick and are capable of causing serious injury.

Motorists are reminded that it is unlawful to take possession of a deer that has been struck by an automobile without first obtaining a vehicle-killed deer tag, which can be provided by any law enforcement agency in the state. For more information about deer in Delaware, visit

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

About Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be answered at You can follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety by visiting us at:, OHS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and YouTube.

About AAA
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and more than 148,000 members in Delaware. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
DNREC: Joanna Wilson,
OHS: Veronica Marshall,
DSP: Master Cpl. Gary Fournier,; Master Cpl. Heather Pepper,; Cpl. Jason Hatchell,
AAA: Ken Grant,


Click It Or Ticket Campaign Starts May 24 With Border To Border Kickoff Event In Delaware

[DOVER, DE] May 19, 2021 — During this year’s national Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign, which will take place May 24 through June 6, 2021, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DOHS) will be teaming up with law enforcement nationwide for a Border to Border (B2B) kickoff event taking place on Monday, May 24 from 3 pm-7 pm across all 3 Delaware counties. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is asking all states to participate in B2B, a one-day, 4-hour national seat belt awareness event on May 24, coordinated by participating state highway safety offices. The B2B initiative aims to increase law enforcement participation by coordinating highly visible seat belt enforcement for drivers throughout each state across the country.

Delaware Governor John Carney Buckled Up in Motor VehicleDelaware Governor John Carney has supported DOHS’s ongoing occupant protection efforts by clicking into one of the recent safety awareness Seat Belt Selfie campaigns. Governor Carney demonstrated the proper way to buckle up in a motor vehicle (photo attached).

“Seat belts save lives, and this program serves to educate and encourage Delawareans to buckle up not only for themselves but also for their families,” said Governor Carney. “Studies have shown that children whose parents buckle up are much more likely to buckle up themselves. Make it a positive habit, and click that seat belt every time before you drive.”

Delaware’s Click It Or Ticket (CIOT) campaign will correspond with the annual national enforcement being implemented by state and local law enforcement agencies from May 24-June 6, 2021. In addition to the enforcement mobilization, DOHS will run simultaneous education campaign initiatives throughout the state via traditional media tactics such as billboards, statewide cable television, and broadcast terrestrial radio; digital media outlets including Spotify, Vevo, Facebook, Instagram, and connected television streaming apps; and will partner with local businesses to amplify the buckle up messaging such as tattoo parlors, hardware stores, outdoor boot camps, as well as extreme sports organizations, and venues.

Face the Facts

  • The statewide seat belt use rate in 2019 was 92.5%, which is good — but we can do better. The other 7.5% still need to be reminded that seat belts save lives.
  • 2020 saw a 53% increase from 2019 in unrestrained fatal and severe injury crashes in Delaware.
  • Over the past 5 years (2016-2020), younger adults were the most likely to be involved in unrestrained crashes, with the highest number of unrestrained occupants involved being under 30 (53%), and in that group, occupants 20-24 being involved in the most crashes.

Bust the Myths

  • Vehicle type: There seems to be a misconception among those who drive and ride in pickup trucks that their larger vehicles will protect them better than other vehicle types would in a crash. The numbers say otherwise: 58% of pickup truck occupants who were killed nationwide in 2019 were not buckled. That’s compared to 43% of passenger car occupants who were not wearing seat belts when they were killed. Regardless of vehicle type, seat belt use is the single most effective way to stay alive in a crash.
  • Seating position: Too many people wrongly believe they are safe in the back seat unrestrained. Forty-five percent of all front-seat passenger vehicle occupants killed nationwide in crashes in 2019 were unrestrained, but 58% of those killed in back seats were unrestrained.
  • Rural versus urban locations: People who live in rural areas might believe their crash exposure is lower, but in 2019, there were 11,971 passenger vehicle fatalities in rural locations nationwide, compared to 10,187 fatalities in urban locations. Out of those fatalities, 48% of those killed in the rural locations were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 45% in urban locations.

“Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, but far too many drivers and their passengers are still not buckling up, especially at night when the risk of being in a crash is even greater. With more people expected to travel on Delaware roadways this summer than last year, we ask that you help us to spread this lifesaving message. Seat belts save lives, and everyone — front seat and back, child and adult — must remember to buckle up,” said Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety. 

click-tok contest description
The Click-Tok video riff-making contest runs from May 21 to midnight on June 2, 2021.


In addition to public education and outreach efforts, DOHS will be hosting a first-of-its-kind seat belt riff video-making contest on TikTok called “Click-Tok.” The “Click-Tok” contest, which runs from May 21 to midnight June 2, 2021, encourages Delawareans to create videos using seat belt sounds, music, video, and an underlying Buckle Up message. Contest participants will be encouraged to join in on this new and fun opportunity through recruitment via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. The “Click-Tok” contest is proudly sponsored in part by traffic safety partner, AAA Mid-Atlantic. Three (3) contest winners will receive a prize in the form of a gift card.



highway and signs demonstrating qr codes make getting to information faster

For more information on the campaign, statistics, and education, visit From here, users can discover the Arrive Alive DE Visualizer Unrestrained Crash Tool which helps drivers visualize the impact unrestrained crashes have had on the state of Delaware over the past 5 years and test their knowledge about what crashing at various speeds feels like at 20, 30, or even 40 miles per hour (mph).


Delaware Office of Highway Safety logo


About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. Follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Don’t Be A Statistic: Designate a Sober Driver for St. Patrick’s Weekend

High Visibility Enforcement Against Impaired Driving Scheduled for
March 1
1-21 in Maryland and Delaware Along US 13 and US 113

DOVER, DE (March 12, 2021) – This year St. Patrick’s Day may look a little different as Delaware continues to stress social distancing and COVID-19 precautions. But for those planning to celebrate with family and friends, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office, and local law enforcement want to make sure they stay safe by driving sober or making a plan for a sober ride home.

For the fourth year, more than 20 transportation and law enforcement agencies from Delaware and Maryland will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints along the 145 miles of US 13 (Ocean Highway) and nearly 75 miles of US 113 (Worcester Highway) on the Delmarva Peninsula beginning Thursday, March 11, and continuing through Sunday, March 21. St. Patrick’s Day is Wednesday, March 17.

In Delaware, the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) will also partner with additional agencies statewide for this year’s high visibility enforcement focused along the US 13 corridor. Last year during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, a total of 102 arrests for impaired driving were made statewide in Delaware.

Coinciding with high-visibility enforcement efforts, Delaware’s Office of Highway Safety will share the Be Driven Not to Drive campaign through a variety of platforms throughout the state including billboards, English and Spanish print media, social media platforms, music streaming services, and television/online streaming services. The campaign combines visible tactics with a publicity strategy to educate the public and promote safe driving behaviors in compliance with the law. de visualizer crash data mapping tool photo

“Partnering with Maryland allows our efforts to be amplified as we combat impaired driving during this holiday period,” said Delaware OHS Deputy Director Richard Klepner. “OHS will partner with law enforcement throughout Delaware with increased visibility and presence on our roadways. There’s no excuse to drink and drive. Even one can be too many. Plan ahead to have a sober ride.”

In anticipation of the St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement and campaign initiatives, OHS has launched a first-of-its-kind digital tool called the Arrive Alive DE Visualizer DUI-Involved Crash Tool to share information with Delawareans and visitors on crash locations and educate website visitors to drive sober. Housed on the Arrive Alive DE website, this 5-year snapshot of DUI-involved crashes shows the concentration of crashes across the state through an interactive heat map.

In addition to the Arrive Alive DE Visualizer DUI-Involved Crash Tool, OHS has launched other versions of the digital tool for occupant protection and pedestrian safety. The Arrive Alive DE Visualizer is designed to educate drivers and pedestrians to help save lives in Delaware and Arrive Alive to their destination. Visit to explore this digital tool and more on highway safety education in Delaware.

“Impaired driving is never the right choice so if you do plan to go out, be sure to plan ahead for a sober ride home,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Every year, families lose loved ones to impaired driving crashes. It’s up to each of us to prevent these tragedies from occurring.”

In 2019, 535 people were killed on Maryland’s roadways and one-third of those deaths involved someone impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. During last year’s enforcement effort, participating agencies issued 703 citations in Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties – including 205 for speeding – and made 18 arrests for impaired driving.

To coincide with the high visibility enforcement, the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office will also share Be the Make A Plan Driver and Be the Sober Driver messages on a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Maryland plan ahead for a sober driver highway safety campaign

Maryland designate a sober driver highway safety campaign


Additional information on Maryland’s Be the Driver campaign can be found here.

More information on Delaware’s Be Driven Not to Drive campaign is available here.




Office of Highway Safety Logo

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. Follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.


Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration Logo


About the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office 

Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.


Cynthia Cavett, Delaware Office of Highway Safety,

Whitney Nichels, MDOT MVA,

Delaware’s 2021-2025 Strategic Highway Safety Plan Finalized

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS), Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), Delaware State Police (DSP), Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after coordinating with stakeholders, advocacy groups and the public recently unveiled the Delaware 2021-2025 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP).

Since 2010, over 1,100 people have died, and 5,600 people have been seriously injured because of a motor vehicle crash on Delaware’s roadways. 2015 and 2019 experienced the highest number of fatalities during the most recent ten-year period with 133 reported each year.

The goal of the Delaware 2021-2025 SHSP is to reduce the total number of fatalities and serious injuries by 15% over the next five years, and to achieve at least a 50 percent reduction by 2035.

“The number of fatalities on our roads continues to be too high, and of real concern,” said Governor John Carney. “The Delaware Strategic Highway Safety Plan is an important tool our state agencies can use to make our roads safer for all Delawareans and visitors.”

“Safety is our number one priority. We are committed to reducing fatalities and serious injuries on Delaware roadways. Working collectively with our partners, we can implement strategies and safety countermeasures to work towards our goal of zero deaths,” said Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski.

“In collaboration with our Highway Safety partners, the Delaware State Police remain devoted to keeping the citizens and visitors of Delaware safe while traveling on Delaware roadways,” said Colonel Melissa A. Zebley, Delaware State Police Superintendent. “Through education and necessary enforcement action, troopers are committed to reaching the goal set forth in the Strategic Highway Safety Plan of reducing the total number of fatalities and serious injuries.”

The emphasis areas of the Delaware 2021 – 2025 SHSP are:

• Intersections
• Distracted Driving
• Impaired Driving
• Roadway Departure
• Pedestrians
• Motorcycles
• Unrestrained Motorists
• Speeding
• Traffic Records

To review the Delaware 2021-2025 SHSP, click here, or join DelDOT, OHS, and DSP on Thursday, March 18 starting at 6:00 p.m. for a virtual public workshop. More details on the upcoming workshop can be found at or click here to join.

The Delaware 2021-2025 SHSP serves as the fourth update since the original Plan was adopted in 2006. The plan is updated on a five-year basis to evaluate its success and to review crash data to ensure resources are being used appropriately.

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Promotes National Child Passenger Safety Week

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Promotes National Child Passenger Safety Week from September 20 – 26, 2020


Media Contacts:

Cynthia Cavett, Marketing Specialist & Public Information Officer

Delaware Office of Highway Safety


DOVER, Del. (September 21, 2020) – Child Passenger Safety Week is a nationwide campaign that spreads critical awareness and promotes all children being properly restrained in the correct car seat for their age, height, and weight. This year’s CPS Week will be held from September 20-26. Car crashes are a leading cause of death nationwide in children ages 1-13, which is why caregivers must choose and use the correct car seats for their children every time. It is estimated that across the nation in 2017, approximately 325 children under the age of 5 were saved by being properly restrained in the correct car seat. To help ensure your child is in the correct seat, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety offers every Delaware resident access to learning opportunities, free resources, and more through their child passenger safety fitting stations and fitting station coordinators. Fitting station staff is available by virtual appointment to provide free education on how to properly use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts based on the child’s age and size. Nationally in 2017, nearly 2 children under the age of 13 died every day because of a car crash. Our mission is to reduce that number as much as possible by providing free child passenger safety education to parents and caregivers.

“The Delaware Office of Highway Safety is committed to keeping Delawareans safe while traveling on our roads. When you take the time to schedule an appointment with one of our child passenger safety technicians, you can ensure that you have the necessary education to protect your child by keeping them properly restrained in the event of a crash,” Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

Virtual Webinar Series

Photo Credit: Aubrey Klick, Fitting Station Coordination for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety

As the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over our attention and priorities, Child Passenger Safety Week looks a little bit different this year. Car crashes haven’t stopped just because there is a pandemic. Children always need to be properly restrained in the correct car seat for their age and size. The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, in response, we have changed our CPS educational process. To protect our parents and caregivers during this time, Aubrey Klick, Fitting Station Coordinator for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, has created an educational webinar series that viewers can watch and study from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The series will be launched on the OHS website, and the OHS social media platforms. The virtual webinar series will cover three topics including newborn safety, ages and stages, and common mistakes. The virtual webinar series is free, and we encourage anyone seeking proper car seat education to view, download, and share.

“My job is to help caregivers ensure that their car seats are properly installed in their vehicles and that their children are safely and properly restrained in their car seats. As an educator, my goal is for caregivers to feel comfortable using their child restraints and feel empowered in their child’s safety,” Aubrey Klick, Fitting Station Coordinator, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

Paid Media and Communications Campaign

The Office of Highway Safety is amplifying its education and outreach this week through the launch of a three-pronged approach to spreading awareness about child passenger safety via social media, paid media, and traditional media campaigns. Additionally, we would like to encourage parents and caregivers to visit @SafeKidsWorldwide on Facebook to participate in live online classes offered for basic awareness of child passenger safety. While there, check out Safe Kids Delaware for more information and social media on Child Passenger Safety in Delaware.



Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification

Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians for the State of Delaware, 2018

Interested in becoming a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician? You can! Certification courses are currently on hold in Delaware due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, you can stay up to date with the latest course information by visiting

Checklist of Tips for Proper Car Seat Installation and Use 

  • Children should ride rear-facing and in the center of the backseat for as long as possible. This usually occurs until age 1, however, it can be longer depending on the child’s height and weight. 
  • You should never attempt to secure a child with more than one seatbelt. 
  • Be sure to read both the car seat’s instruction manual and the portion of your vehicle owner’s manual on car seat installation. Different seats need to be set up differently based on what vehicle the seat is going into.
  • Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed forward-facing through the slot that is at or above your child’s shoulders. If in a rear-facing seat, the harness strap should be at or below the shoulders. The harness is snug enough when extra material cannot be pinched at the shoulder. Make sure the chest clip is at armpit level.
  • For more information about car seats visit:

“Child Passenger Safety Week is a great reminder to reach out to one of our fitting stations and schedule a virtual appointment to have your child’s car seat checked. Remember, the right car seat is the one that meets your child’s age, height, weight, developmental levels, and you will use correctly 100% of the time.  Give us a call! We would love to assist you,” Shawn Rohe, Fitting Station Coordinator, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Fitting Stations

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety offers free car seat inspections at our local fitting stations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, appointments are currently being conducted virtually via phone and video. Residents in New Castle County may call Shawn Rohe at (302) 256-1123 for an appointment. Residents in Kent or Sussex County may contact Aubrey Klick at (302) 387-2324 for an appointment. For more information about child passenger safety in Delaware, visit

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Web Site








About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at