Division of Fish & Wildlife urges motorists to watch out for deer crossing roadways – especially at dusk

DOVER – With shorter days ahead – especially after the Nov. 4 change from daylight savings back to Eastern standard time – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds Delaware motorists, especially 9-to-5 workers driving home at dusk, to be alert for deer crossing roadways.

A group of doesNational statistics show that at least half of all deer-vehicle collisions occur the last three months of the year, with the highest number of deer struck on the roadways in late October through mid-November. State Farm Insurance recently reported that motorists made 5,435 deer/vehicle collision insurance claims in Delaware between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, a 2.9 percent decrease from 5,600 during the same time period last year. Delaware ranks 24th this year out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia included in State Farm’s report on where deer-vehicle collisions are most likely to occur; neighboring Pennsylvania ranks third. Delaware is considered a medium-risk state with a 1-in-139 chance of a collision, compared to the national average of 1-in-167. Average property damage claims in deer-vehicle collisions run $4,341.

Attentive driving is the best way to avoid deer collisions. Keep these tips in mind, as suggested by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Delaware police agencies, auto insurance companies, and the Division of Fish & Wildlife:

  • Turn your headlights on at dawn and dusk and keep your eyes on the road, scanning the sides of the road as well as what’s ahead of you.
  • When there is no oncoming traffic, switch to high beams to better reflect the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
  • To reduce your risk of injury in a collision, always wear your seatbelt.
  • Be especially aware of any distractions that might take your eyes off the road, even if only momentarily, such as cell phones, adjusting the radio, eating, or passenger activities.
  • Watch for “Deer Crossing” signs that mark commonly-traveled areas, and be aware that deer typically cross between areas of cover, such as woods or where roads divide agricultural fields from woods.
  • If you see a deer crossing the road ahead, slow down immediately and proceed with caution until you are 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 hitting another obstacle such as a tree or a pole is likely to be much more serious than hitting a deer.
  • If you hit a deer, stop at the scene, get your car off the road if possible and call police. Do not touch the animal or get too close; an injured deer may bite or kick, causing serious injury.

For more information about white-tailed deer in Delaware, contact the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

DelDOT and Delaware Dept. of Agriculture Urge Drivers to Be Cautious When Sharing the Road with Farm Equipment

Harvest Time Means Slow-Moving and Large Agricultural Vehicles Will Be on Delaware Roads

DOVER — DelDOT and the Department of Agriculture are urging Delaware drivers to be alert for the presence of agricultural equipment on roads and to practice safe road-sharing techniques when encountering them.

The state is the midst of harvest season and farmers are moving large tractors, trailers, trucks and other large equipment on state roads as they move between fields or to equipment staging areas.

Farm equipment operators that are on the road understand that their presence can delay your trip and will often pull off the road at the first available safe location to allow you to pass. Don’t assume, however, that the farmer can move aside to let you pass wherever there is open space. Shoulders may be soft, wet, or steep, and pulling off the road could cause the farm vehicle to tip, or the shoulder or soil may not be able to support the heavy weight of the equipment.

If you encounter a wide vehicle, please yield. On rural roads, some farm equipment may be wider than the lane of travel. If you approach a piece of wide farm equipment traveling in the opposite direction on a rural road and you cannot pass safely, stop. Then consider your safest alternative: Either pull off the road, safely turn around or back up to a location that will allow the equipment to pass.

Never assume the driver of farm equipment knows you are there. Most operators of farm equipment will regularly check to see if there is traffic behind them. However, the farmer must spend most of the time looking ahead to keep the equipment safely on the road, and to watch for oncoming traffic.

Remember that farm equipment is very loud, and the farmer will probably not be able to hear your vehicle. Therefore, do not assume that the farmer knows where your vehicle is located. Before attempting to pass, be sure you have a clear line of sight down the road ahead and there is no oncoming traffic. If you are in an area where passing is allowed, use your car’s horn to signal to the farmer that you are there and then pass with caution. Do not pass if you are in a designated “No Passing Zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevated structure or tunnel. Also, be watchful of vehicles behind you that may also try to pass.

Do not assume that a farm vehicle that pulls to the right side of the road is going to turn right or is letting you pass. Due to the size of some farm implements, the farmer must execute wide left-hand turns. If you are unsure, check the operator’s hand signals and check the left side of the road for gates, driveways or any place a farm vehicle might turn.

While driving on rural roads, you may encounter farm equipment at any time. This equipment comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Sometimes you will see a single vehicle, such as a tractor or combine. Other times the equipment will consist of a tractor with an implement in tow. Farm equipment is designed to be used primarily in a field and is not designed to travel at typical highway speeds. Most farm equipment is designed to travel at speeds of 15-25 miles per hour. If you’re driving 55 mph and come upon a tractor that’s moving 15 miles per hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between you and the tractor.

Just as motorists are entitled to operate their vehicles on public roadways, farmers are legally allowed to operate farm equipment on these same roadways.

Tips for Farmers

Farmers have a role in road safety too. Following this safety advice will help:

• Place a slow moving vehicle reflector triangle on any machine that travels the road slower than 25 mph.

• Always point the triangle up, keep the emblem clean to maximize reflectivity, and replace the emblem when it fades, normally every 2-3 years.

• Mark the edges of tractors and machines with reflective tape and reflectors.

• Consider installing retrofit lighting on older machinery to increase visibility.

• Turn on your lights, but turn off rear spotlights when going onto the road. From a distance they can be mistaken for headlights.

• Avoid the highway during rush hours and bad weather. To increase visibility, it is best not to drive before sunrise or after sunset.

• Use pilot cars, one in front and one in back if you are going a considerable distance. Hang an orange flag out the window of these pilot vehicles.

• Consider installing mirrors on equipment to enable you to be aware of motorists around you.

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Media Contacts: Dan Shortridge, Department of Agriculture, (302) 698-4520; Sandy Roumillat, DelDOT, (302)760-2080

DelDOT Welcomes Fans to the Firefly Music Festival

Dover — The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) welcomes fans to Firefly Music Festival, produced by Red Frog Events at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Dover. Four days of music will commence on Thursday, June 18 through Sunday, June 21.

Traffic Information
DelDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) staff in coordination with the City of Dover Police and Delaware State Police will monitor traffic in and around the Dover vicinity to ensure safe travel for motorists. Due to the number of patrons attending the festival, Leipsic Road and Persimmon Tree Lane in the vicinity of Dover International Speedway will be closed to through traffic beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 18 until Sunday evening, June 21. At the conclusion of the festival, all roads will be reopened.

Camping/RV processing will be located at Dover International Speedway (DIS) Lot 1 (Lot 1 is the largest DIS parking lot) located south of the speedway bordered by U.S. Route 13, Leipsic Road, and Plaza Drive. Traffic from the south will enter Lot 1 from U.S. Route 13 through Jefferic Boulevard, and from the north using Leipsic Road.

Campers/RVs from the north will use DE Route 1 to Exit 104 to U.S. Route 13 to a left turn at Leipsic Road. Should traffic conditions warrant, Exit 104 and Exit 98 from DE Route 1 will be closed, traffic will be directed to Exit 95 to Bay Road onto U.S. Route 13 North to Lot 1 via Jefferic Boulevard.

Traffic from the south will use northbound U.S. Route 13 to a right turn at Jefferic Boulevard into Lot 1 where separate camping/RV processing lanes will be established.

Once each vehicle is processed in Lot 1 they will exit at the east end of Lot 1 back to Leipsic Road to their assigned camping area.

Check in times for Camping are as follows:

  • Wednesday Premiere Tent/RV pass holders:
    Wednesday, June 17: 12 p.m.through 11:59 p.m.
    Thursday, June 18: 12 a.m.through 6 a.m.
  • All other camping pass holders:
    Thursday, June 18: 6 a.m. through 11:59 p.m.
    Friday, June 19: 12 a.m. through 9 p.m.
    Saturday, June 20: 6 a.m. through 4 p.m.
    Sunday, June 21: 6 a.m. through 12 p.m.

For festival patrons that are not camping on DIS property, daily parking is available in speedway parking lots. Daily parking lots are accessible from the Main Entrance to DIS from U.S. Route 13.

“Will Call” passes for Firefly will be processed at Delaware Technical Community College located in north Dover; access to Delaware Technical Community College will be via Scarborough Road. Firefly patrons are encouraged have their “will call” passes before being processed for camping.

Motorists can adjust their routes or travel times by using DelDOT’s Smartphone application. The DelDOT App is available and can be downloaded free at the Google Play and Apple store, search for “DelDOT”. WTMC 1380 AM is also available through the DelDOT App.

For real-time traffic information, visit DelDOT follow us on DelDOT Facebook; DelDOT Twitter; the DelDOT App for updated travel-related information, or tune to WTMC 1380 AM for up-to-the-minute traffic conditions.

Enjoy the festival!

For more information, visit the following websites:

Governor Markell Announces Lifting of State of Emergency in New Castle County

State of Emergency with Level 1 Driving Warning remains in Kent, Sussex Counties

Cheswold, DE – Governor Jack Markell announced he has lifted the State of Emergency with Level One Driving Warning for New Castle County, effective at 2 p.m. today. The State of Emergency with a Level 1 Driving Warning remains in effect in Kent and Sussex Counties. Road conditions in New Castle County have improved since this morning, but roads throughout the state still have snow and ice on them. Drivers should continue to exercise caution if they must travel. DelDOT will continue to plow and salt roads as necessary.

As expected, Kent and Sussex Counties received the greatest impact of this storm,” said Governor Markell. “Road conditions continue to improve, but motorists should continue to be careful, as snowy and icy spots still exist and additional snowfall is expected in the southern part of the state.”

State officials will continue to monitor the weather and road conditions and will take any appropriate action, including lifting the state of emergency in Kent and Sussex Counties as weather conditions improve. 


Executive Department




             WHEREAS, since yesterday, the State of Delaware has experienced a significant accumulation of snow resulting from a winter storm, with the heaviest snow occurring in Kent and Sussex Counties; and

            WHEREAS, the snow has largely abated in New Castle County, and through the significant efforts of Department of Transportation officials and state and local emergency responders, travel on many roads in New Castle County is possible again; and

            WHEREAS, response efforts continue throughout the State of Delaware, and road conditions in Kent and Sussex Counties remain challenging, particularly on secondary and local roads.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, hereby declare:

  1. My declaration of a state of emergency, including the Level 1 driving warning, dated Monday, March 2, 2014 is terminated for New Castle County as of 2:00 PM today. The state of emergency and Level 1 driving warning shall remain in effect in Kent and Sussex Counties until further notice.
  2. Pursuant to 20 DEL. C. § 3116(a)(11), the Delaware National Guard shall continue to provide necessary assistance to state and local activities, at the discretion of the Adjutant General or his designee.
  3. I reserve the right to take or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.


APPROVED this 3rd day of March, 2014, at 12:20 p.m.

Weather Condition Advisory

State of Delaware Offices in New Castle County Opening Late

Wilmington – State offices in New Castle County are operating on a 2 hour delay today. DelDOT crews again worked through the night treating the roads from the snow received last night and any icy spots caused by the fluctuating temperatures. Drivers should exercise caution when operating vehicles statewide today, but particularly in areas that received snow last night and local roads that have had less traffic. Those roads may be slippery and drivers should proceed cautiously.