DRIVERS have been warned to stay alert as the risk of deer in the road rises in the autumn.

Between October and December deer are on the move for the mating season.

The most likely time for a crash involving a deer is between sunset and midnight, and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.

Hotspots in Bolton include Bradshaw Meadows, the entrance to Jumbles Country Park, Egerton, as well as the M6, M62 and the M66 between Bolton and Rochdale.

Senior principle environmental advisor at Highways England, Tony Sangwine, said: “Safety is our top priority, which is why we care about people’s journeys.

“We are working with The Deer Initiative to warn motorists about the risks caused by deer, when they suddenly appear on the road, particularly at both dawn and dusk.

“With most deer movement coinciding with key commuting hours, we are urging drivers to be more aware during this time of year.”

There are around two million deer living wild in the UK, particularly in rural areas.

Highways England called for drivers to check their speed and stay alert when they see deer warning signs or are travelling through wooded areas.

They also called for motorists to use full beams when possible but to dip them on seeing deer.

Other warnings included being prepared to stop as more deer may follow the first one, and using hazard warning lights in the case of having to stop.

Deer Aware is running a safety campaign on social media in October and November, and will be sharing hotspot locations via Twitter.

Anyone involved in a crash with a deer should call the police to report the incident.