A DORSET road has been named in a list of places where drivers are most likely to be involved in deer-related accidents in the south west.

The A35 and A351 at Wareham and in the Purbecks are in the list compiled by the Deer Initiative (DI).

The organisation is now warning drivers to be aware, especially as collisions tend to increase at this time of year.

October to December is considered a high-risk time as many deer will be on the move to and from rutting grounds during the autumn mating season.

Dr Jochen Langbein, who has been working with the DI for the past 10 years, said: “Aside from the surge in activity by our three largest deer species – fallow, sika and red – during their autumn rut, as days shorten and the clocks go back, peak traffic times also coincide with dawn and dusk when activity of all deer species is at its daily peak.”

The findings come from data collected on deer vehicle collisions from 2008 to 2013 and along with Wareham and Purbeck, other top areas in the South West include the Forest of Dean, Haddon Forest and Hill and the Mendips.

It is estimated that there are between 40,000 and 74,000 deer-related road accidents each year in the UK.

The DI has issued advice for drivers to be ‘deer aware’ and help avoid being involved in an accident.

Drivers are being urged to use full-beam lights when there is no traffic coming the other way as this will illuminate the eyes of deer in the road, but dim the lights if they notice an animal as the beam may startle them and make them freeze.

Don’t over-swerve to avoid a deer as this could lead to a collision with oncoming traffic.

A driver who is involved in a deer-related accident should report it to the police and not approach an injured deer, as it may be dangerous.

For more details, visit www.deeraware.com