Mayo County Council is warning motorists to ‘look out for love-crazed deer on Irish roads’.
At this time of year, the male fallow deer is unpredictable and can travel several miles a day in search of a mate, crossing roads in the process.
The most common times for the male deer to roam are at dawn and dusk, which in October coincides with the morning and evening rush-hours.
Rutting season, where male deer clash horns over mating rights with females, is about to begin. Drivers should beware of deer causing fatal accidents by bolting across roads, a road safety official has said.
Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council, said: “With fewer cars on the roads over the last few months because of Covid-19, we’ve seen all sorts of wildlife being bolder, and deer are no exception.
“We would urge motorists to be cautious and drive a little slower at this time of the year, especially on rural and semi-rural roads”
According to AA Car Insurance in the UK, the average claim payout for a deer strike is €1600. Some estimates suggest there are as many as 74,000 strikes annually, many unreported in the UK, while in Ireland the latest figures show there are around 400/500 collisions between motorists and deer in Ireland each year, some resulting in human injury.