EUGENE, Ore. - A new study shows that fewer drivers have hit deer in Oregon in the last year.
State Farm released a study that shows the number of deer and vehicle collisions has dropped 12 percent in the last year.
The U. S. has seen a decline in deer-vehicle collisions with 9 percent less than three years ago and 7 percent less than one year ago.
Oregon ranks 35th in states where drivers are likely to hit a deer. According to the study, Oregonians have a 1 in 323 chance of hitting a deer.
According to State Farm, the drop is partly because higher gas prices mean fewer drivers on the road. In addition, longer hunting seasons mean fewer deer.
But authorities are still advising drivers to be alert with the Oregon's high deer population.
"In darkness on roadways, it's recommended to use your bright headlight setting until you meet another vehicle," said Lt. Byron Trapp with the Lane County Sheriff's Office.
Lt. Trapp warns drivers that deer often travel in herds.
"It's not uncommon at all to have one deer cross the road and then with a pause shortly there after another one or two cross the road," Lt. Trapp said.
If a driver encounters a deer, the Sheriff's office says to immediately slow your vehicle and maintain your lane of travel. If you can't stop soon enough, authorities say hitting the deer could be the safe way to go.
"Let off the break and maybe even hit the gas, which is supposed to raise the front end of your vehicle," Lt. Trapp said. "Doing this in theory would prevent it from going over the hood and into the windshield."
The Sheriff's office said drivers are more likely to hit a deer from dawn to sunrise, and from dusk to midnight. Authorities respond to more deer-vehicle collisions in November than any other month.