Palm Coast - The City of Palm Coast public works crews have installed two deer warning signs along Palm Coast Parkway to alert drivers to be aware as they travel through the area. Palm Coast Parkway is dark at night, curved, and surrounded by vegetation which makes it much harder to see animals in the roadway. Neighboring areas serve as a habitat and harbor deer activity. 

The non-vehicular warning signs are located east of I-95; one can be seen along the eastbound lanes of Palm Coast Parkway just west of the Community Center near Florida Park Drive - the other can be seen heading westbound on Palm Coast Parkway just after Palm Harbor Drive.

In December, City staff were asked to evaluate the need for signs after a resident came to a City Council workshop requesting awareness signage. Staff has processed these requests in the past from other concerned citizens. Each request is researched and considered with the same factors. 

In this case, staff suggested the signs due to the concentration of accidents in the area that occurred in previous years and the connectivity of the possible habitat in the area. Should any resident identify a concern like this that they would like the City to look into, they can reach out to Customer Service to start the process.

Customer Service can be reached at 386-986-2360 or customer-service@palmcoastgov.com.

Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer.

-Keep a close watch for deer at dawn and dusk. Deer are most active during these times.

-Be especially alert and drive with caution. Be on the lookout for deer crossing signs and slow down.

-Be aware of your surroundings, just because you don't see a deer crossing sign posted, it doesn't mean deer won't unexpectedly appear.

-Flash your lights or honk your horn to frighten deer away from the side of the road.

-When you encounter deer along the roadside, turn on your emergency lights to let other motorists know about the potential danger.

-Use your high-beam headlights when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer and provide greater driver reaction time.

-Upon seeing a deer, immediately slow down. Do not swerve - because this can confuse deer as to where to run. It could also cause you to lose control and hit a tree or another car.

-If you can't avoid the accident, hit the deer while maintaining control of your vehicle. Some experts say that if such a collision is inevitable, you should avoid braking at impact so that the deer may pass underneath your car as opposed to hitting the windshield.

-Look for other deer after one has crossed the road. Deer commonly travel in groups, so the probability is high that other deer will be in front of or behind the one you've seen.

-Don't rely on hood-mounted deer whistles and other devices to scare away deer.

-Always wear your seatbelt. Most people injured and/or killed in deer - automobile collisions were not wearing their seat belt.

-Finally, remember to slow down for wildlife.  

If you are unable to avoid a collision with a deer, take the following steps:

-Do not touch the animal! The deer, in attempting to move or get away, could hurt you or itself.

-Remove your automobile from the roadway, if possible.

-Call the police.