With the early onset of nightfall at this time of year, motorists are reminded to be on the lookout and be prepared to encounter white-tailed deer on roads.

Deer are most active during their breeding season and particularly between sunset and sunrise. Hunting season also increases the movement of deer.

PennDOT statistics show more than half of all reportable crashes in District 3, which is comprised of Tioga, Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Union, Snyder, Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties, occurred in the months of October, November and December. More than 85 percent of those crashes occurred between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. Since 2007, there have been more than 960 hit-deer crashes district-wide. Those crashes resulted in 238 injuries and three fatalities.

To reduce the risk of a deer-related crash, motorists should slow down and be especially cautious during morning and evening hours. Motorists also should increase following distance on roads where deer are known to be particularly active. Deer often travel in small herds, so if you see one deer crossing the road, there is a strong chance others will follow.

If you see a deer, slow down, tap your brakes to warn other drivers and sound your horn. Deer tend to fixate on headlights, so flashing them may cause the animal to move.

Always obey the speed limit and always wear your seat belt. If your vehicle is involved in a crash, you are less likely to be injured or killed if you buckle up.

To report a dead deer on a state road, call 1-800-FIX-ROAD.

For more fall safety tips and other highway safety information, visit www.JustDrivePA.com.

For more information, visit www.dot.state.pa.us/district3 or call 570-368-8686.

Submitted by PennDOT