Research says this is the time of year you are most likely to hit a deer while driving in Minnesota, and if you've ever driven down a local highway or county road you may have seen a deer crossing sign, letting you know that the danger of hitting a deer is greater in that area. What you may not have realized is that Minnesota is no longer posting those signs as they age out, because they didn't seem to make any difference in reducing car vs deer crashes.

As recently as 2017, Minnesota's Department of Transportation (MnDOT) continued the discussion about phasing out the use of deer crossing signs as they found that Minnesota drivers found that warning signs "are most effective when they alert drivers to an obvious danger and drivers reduce their speed. Signs that alert drivers to infrequent encounters or possible situations, such as deer crossing, children at play, or playground warning signs do not have a consistent impact on driver behavior. Widespread use or misuse of warning signs reduces their overall effectiveness."

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We have to go way back to 2005 to when MnDOT made the decision to no longer "install new static deer crossing warning signs and to remove existing signs that have reached the end of their useful life."

So the next time you spot a deer crossing sign on the side of the road, you might want to remember it, as soon enough we won't be seeing the generic yellow sign with a deer on it, but rather some other form of a warning system, or elevating some roads to allow the deer to walk under rather than over the road.

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