New Jersey is in the middle of the deer rutting season when the animals mate before they begin wintering.

That's a worry for people on the roads.

AAA/Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble says the animals are focused on each other, and sometimes they throw caution to the wind when it comes to fast-moving cars on roads and highways.

The season typically runs from mid-October through November and December.

Noble says compounding the hazard for motorists is shorter days and more darkness on roads that diminishes visibility.

"You just need to be very vigilant and keep your eyes peeled," she said.

She also offers a tip to prevent a deer from flying through the windshield.

"If a crash is imminent and you cannot avoid striking a deer, what you actually should do is take your foot off the brake and hit the animal if possible with the front of the vehicle.

"When you brake, the nose of the vehicle tends to dip down, which would then throw the animal over the vehicle."

AAA says the average cost to a damaged vehicle from a car/deer collision is $4,236.

Joe Cutter is the senior news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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