Collisions with deer are common in many areas. Be especially vigilant during the fall mating season (October to mid-December). Here are some other ways to decrease the chances you will hit a deer:
- If you see one deer, watch for more. Deer are herd animals and travel in groups. If one deer darts across the road, there’s a good chance there are more to follow.
- Keep your lights on and your eyes open. Deer are most active in the dawn and dusk when you have the most difficulty seeing. Plus, your headlights might reflect off a deer’s eyes making it easier to spot.
- Stay in the center lane (when you can), allowing you more time to see the deer and the deer more time to see you.
- Apply brakes calmly and maintain your course. When you see a deer, brake accordingly and continue in your lane. Swerving to avoid the deer can create other accidents and the deer might dart into your new path anyway.
- Honk your horn. One long blast of your car’s horn could scare a deer out of your way.
If you should hit a deer, pull over in a safe location and turn on your hazard lights. Call for emergency services if your vehicle is damaged too badly to drive. Stay away from the deer. If it is still alive it will be frightened and confused and you could be injured. Be sure to notify police if the deer or your vehicle are in locations that might endanger other drivers.