Preventing Deer-Related Auto Accidents
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Don’t Meet a Deer by Accident
Fall means back to school, but it also means it’s time to be on the lookout for deer. October through December is the most common time of year for deer-related vehicle collisions — many of which can result in severe damage to your car and possible injuries to you and your passengers. So, if you’re driving in an area with a large deer population, keep these driving safety tips in mind:
- Always be on the lookout for deer at dawn and dusk — the times of day when you’re likely to be commuting.
- Leave early to give yourself extra travel time and take it slow as you drive.
- When startled by an approaching vehicle, deer can panic and dart out from any direction.
- If you see one deer cross the road, others are likely nearby.
- Watch for deer-related warning signs and slow down at well-known deer crossings.
- If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, remember don’t swerve. Be sure to brake firmly and hold onto the steering wheel with both hands. Come to a controlled stop and move the vehicle out of traffic to a safe location. Statistics show that most deer-related deaths and injuries occur when drivers swerve from their lane and hit another object, such as a vehicle or a tree.
Many fatal deer crashes involve motorcyclists. If you drive a motorcycle, follow these additional safety tips designed just for you:
- Slow down. Decreasing speed gives you more time to react if you spot an animal.
- Cover your brakes to reduce reaction time.
- Use your high beam headlights and an additional driving light when possible.
- If you’re riding in a group, spread out. If one driver hits a deer, it will be less likely that other riders will be involved.
- Wear protective gear at all times!