Deer Season causes many accidents when it comes to car travel. During a hunter’s deer season, deer tend to be on the move more than normal. It’s estimated that deer cause over 1 million car collisions a year. Here are some tips to help avoid auto accidents during deer season.
1. Check for Deer Roaming Signs
Often an area that is highly populated by deer will have signs to warn drivers of potential deer crossing. Be extra alert of your surroundings on the road when in areas with high deer population.
2. Deer Come in Packs
Deer almost always travel in packs. If a deer runs in front of your vehicle know that he probably has friends trailing behind him. Don’t think the coast is clear because you missed one. Slow down, there are probably more to follow.
3. Drive Slow
It is never advised to drive above the speed limit. That’s breaking the law and putting you and your passengers at great risk. However, during the Fall and Winter months, it’s even more important to slow down so you can easily hit your breaks if a deer were to walk in front of your vehicle.
4. Be Observant
Most deer-vehicle collisions happen because the driver isn’t being observant of their surroundings. Use your peripherals. It’s important to look for deer on the sides of the road and in nearby fields while driving. Tip: If you see something glowing beside the roads, it could be the deer’s eyes reflecting your vehicle’s headlights. Slow down and be prepared for deer crossing.
Typically deer will get out of the road if you honk at them. Be aware that honking at deer on the side of the road could have the opposite effect and cause the deer to run into the road. Only honk when you are stopped in the road and waiting for a deer to get off the road.
6. Try not to drive at sunset and sunrise
Sunset and sunrise are the most difficult times to see the road ahead of you clearly. If possible, try to avoid driving while the sun is at the greatest risk of impeding your vision.
7. Don’t Swerve
Try to remain on the road if you are about to hit a deer. Stay calm, brake firmly and remain on your course of travel. Swerving could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and make the situation worse than it already is.
A seatbelt could save your life if you were to come into contact with a deer. Wearing a seatbelt won’t necessarily prevent a deer-vehicle collision but it could save your life in the case of one. A seatbelt can also prevent a passenger from flying through the windshield in the case of a sudden stop.
9. Be Defensive
When driving, be prepared to take action if something were to run in front of you. This is comparable to how you would drive if you were to be in a city full of people and moving vehicles. Be alert and ready to hit the break. Also, it’s wise to leave space between you and other cars in case the car in front of you has to stop dramatically for a deer.
10. Auto Insurance
Accidents can happen at any time. Make sure you have enough auto insurance coverage just in case you find yourself in an accident.