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How to Drive "Deerfensively"

One big danger facing the endangered Key deer is getting hit by a car. When driving on Big Pine Key, following a few simple rules will help you be part of the answer, not the problem.

  1. Obey the speed limit.
  2. Be alert for deer on the sides of the road.
  3. Be aware of color. Key deer are a light brown that blends into the roadside vegetation.
  4. Buckle up. Put young children in car seats and secure your packages. Be prepared to brake without worrying about your passengers or packages.
  5. If you see a deer crossing the road, look for another. They tend to travel in pairs or groups.
  6. When a deer in the road acts erratically, slow down and stop. Turn on your hazard lights to warn surrounding cars of a dangerous situation. Wait for the deer to cross the road safely.
  7. If you see a deer and want a photo, slow down, use your turn signal, be aware of cars around you, and pull off the road.
  8. Be extra careful from May to July. Fawns, yearlings, and does are moving.
  9. Be extra careful from October to December. Bucks are moving and the breeding season is under way.
  10. If you see, or have, a deer/vehicle accident, call the Sheriff dispatcher at (305) 872-3311 or Emergency at 911. He or she will contact the Key Deer Refuge staff. Your information is important.

—Prepared by Monroe County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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