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Fewer acorns may mean more accidents this winter

Monday - 9/19/2011, 9:33am  ET

Evan Haning,

WASHINGTON -- "Fewer acorns in the woods, more deer on the highway" is not folk wisdom from the Farmer's Almanac, but a warning from wildlife experts.

Acorns are a staple food for deer, so when they are scarce, deer will hunt for food along roadsides where they are more likely to be hit by cars.

Tim Stamps, head of Fish, Wildlife and Agronomy for Quantico Marine Base tells InsideNova that acorns were abundant last year and many fawns were born this year, so more deer will soon be on the move, hunting for food.

So far this year, there have been 32 accidents involving deer. Many of them were along Fuller Road, with others on Russell Road between the Davis Building and the traffic circle.

Traffic Safety Branch Manager Ed Billing tells InsideNova that he encounters deer daily, and urges drivers to slow down and give themselves more stopping distance than usual.

Although deer are a well-known cause of accidents around Quantico, they are not the biggest hazard.

Deer were a factor in 23 percent of accidents in the first six months of the year, but tailgating and distracted driving accounted for 33 percent of car crashes.

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