What You Need to Know About Deer on the RoadwaysJanuary 2, 2014 | in Defensive Driving Tips
Accidents happen. Sometimes one car hits another one. Other times a car will hit a tree. And, still, there are times when a car will hit a deer. While some of these accidents are completely preventable (like the ones from texting or drinking and driving), some of them are not. For instance, hitting a deer. It is no secret that deer can just jump out in front of you without a moment’s notice. In fact, AOL Autos reports that there are 150 fatalities and over 1.1 billion dollars of property damage caused by deer each year in the US. So what are you to do?
Take Preventative Action
While you may not be able to stop a deer from dashing into the road, you can educate yourself on where and when deer are the most prevalent to that you can drive extra defensively during these times. Here’s some things you need know:
October through December (now!) is the most active timeframe for deer. It is mating and migration season, so the deer aren’t exactly focused on looking for cars.
Even though most deer can be found in rural areas, that doesn’t mean you won’t find them around town. Always be aware, and keep an eye out for road signs alerting you of high deer concentrations.
The two hours before and two hours after dawn are the liveliest hours for deer, so use extra caution when driving during these times.
If you live in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Minnesota, or Texas, you are in one of the top 10 danger states for deer.
Deer travel in packs, so if you see one, there is probably another one close by.
What do I do if I see a deer?
Hopefully you are always driving defensively so you can be prepared if a deer should appear in front of you. Here’s what you need to do if you see a deer in your headlights.
Honk the horn. One really long, continuous honk. This will hopefully scare the deer away.
Brake firmly the second you see the deer. Of course, the goal is to stop before you hit it.
Don’t swerve. This is very important. If it comes down to having to swerve or hitting the deer, hit the deer. Swerving can cause you to have a head-on collision with oncoming traffic or lose control of your car. Both of these will cause more harm to you and your car than hitting the deer.
Call the cops. If you do hit a deer, you must report it. If you desire to keep the creature, you can ask the officer for a special permit to take it home.