EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — If you’re heading out this fall to check out a Halloween display, corn maze or the foliage, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is warning you to be careful on the roads.

That’s because deer mating season begins in late October, and these large animals tend to move around more frequently during that period.

The DEM said it’s especially important to use caution in the area of deer crossings and around dawn and dusk.

Deer mating season continues through November and into early December. November is the peak period for deer-related crashes, according to the DEM.

Here are some tips to keep in mind from the DEM:

  • Scan the shoulders of the road ahead. (Deer tend to dart out from wooded areas and can surprise drivers.)
  • Lower your speed to give yourself more time to stop.
  • Wear your seat belt. If a collision is unavoidable, wearing your seat belt will increase your chance of survival.
  • If a crash is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and stay in your lane. Swerving sharply could lead to a more serious crash.
  • If you see a deer while driving, proceed with caution and always expect more than one to appear.

If you strike a deer, the DEM warns to approach it with caution since it may only be stunned.

By law, drivers are required to report all deer-related collisions to the DEM’s 24-hour dispatch office at (401) 222-3070. The incident should also be reported to local police and your insurance company.