SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — The Texas Department of Public Safety wants to remind drivers to be extra cautious of deer this time of year.

The TxDPS says that although deer can run on or be near roads any time of year, they can appear more during the fall season. Justin Baker, TxDPS media and communications worker and safety educator, says being alert and avoiding distractions are key.

“We do have a lot of rural areas with a lot of highways and byways traveling through those areas, so it’s going to increase the chance of deer in the roadway,” Baker said. “It is one of those things that we do see often, and we do get called to those crashes quite often.”

Baker says if you’re driving and see a deer on the side of the road, watch your speed and hover over the break. If a deer runs out in front of you, do not swerve suddenly.

“Even on the Loop driving through San Angelo, that’s not a completely safe zone from deer, and you think it would because you don’t see a lot of trees surrounding that area,” Baker said, “but we have had deer hit right there on the Loop going through the middle of town. Being alert is always a priority when driving your vehicle.”

Baker says if you see one deer on a road or highway, assume several more will be around because they travel in herds. He says to use your high-beam headlights when it’s dark and there are no oncoming cars.

“This is always one of those safety issues out there on the highways where we don’t want anybody hurt,” Baker said. “We don’t want our property damaged, and we want to get to where we’re going safely, but it’s just one of those factors that nature has its way, and those deer come out in the roadway. So of course, we want to avoid hitting them.”

Baker says if you strike a deer, you can move them off the road if it’s safe, but it’s illegal to take them away. Make sure to report crashes to the police and your insurance company.