RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Officials are warning drivers to be careful as deer mating season has just begun.

A new study says Virginia is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to the likelihood of hitting a deer. Besides some serious damage to your car, experts say making the wrong decision could seriously injure or kill you.

Images from 8News viewer Don Richards show the damage from the second deer collision he’s had this year, costing him over $2,600.

In total, Richards says he’s had 26 run-ins with deer over his life in Virginia.

According to a new study from State Farm, Virginia is now the 11th state in the country where drivers are most likely to hit a deer.

“I’ve seen deer in Henrico, Chesterfield, I’ve seen deer in the city of Richmond,” said Rich Jacobs with Drive Smart Virginia.

Jacobs says deer are most active at dusk and dawn, especially when drivers are traveling to or home from work. He says it’s important to stay buckled, stay aware of your surroundings, and most importantly, to not swerve.

“Don’t try to avoid the deer that’s the worst thing you can do,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs says it could have disastrous results for you or another driver.

“You can come in contact with another vehicle in another lane, you could swerve into oncoming traffic, you could lose control of the vehicle and go off into the woods,” said Jacobs.

He says if you see one deer on the side of the road, be prepared to see more, as they don’t often travel alone. Jacobs says paying attention could potentially save you thousands of dollars and could also save your life.

Mating season for deer typically lasts from October until the end of November.

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