5 Things You Should Know That Will Help You Avoid Hitting a Deer in the Road
I was driving out to camp last weekend on Gore Road in Oxford when I had an actual 'deer in the headlights' moment with this young fawn standing in the road. I wasn't sure what might happen, but did some things that I knew would help to avoid hitting the little guy.
According to Geico there are over 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, some resulting in fatalities and billions of dollars in damages. Here are 5 things they list that you can do to prevent dangerous deer collisions.
1. If you see one deer, there are probably more around
Deer travel in packs, and if you see one there's a good chance there are more nearby you can't see that could suddenly jump out in front of you. Slow down and keep an eye out for others, especially when you encounter a young deer. Mom is probably very close by.
2. Know when deer are most active
Dusk and dawn. It just happens to be when vision while driving is the worst and when deer are most active. It's even worse when deer are on the move during mating season from October to January. If you're on rural roads where deer are likely to be around, slow down and stay alert.
3. Watch the road signs
This seems like a no-brainer, but there are many yellow, diamond shaped deer crossing signs on rural roads. These are the prime locations for deer to be crossing the road. Slow down when you see these. Another no-brainer.
4. Don't swerve
If you swerve, you increase the chances of losing control of your vehicle. Brake firmly, stay calm, and watch what the deer is doing. They're unpredictable and could suddenly jump in front of you as you try to drive past. Take it slow and wait for the deer to leave the road if you have to and then proceed with extreme caution.
5. Honk the horn
Experts say a long blast from your horn can scare the deer out of the road. Hood whistles and other devices designed to scare off deer aren't as effective as a horn blast.
As we enter the time of year that deer are most active, these tips should help you avoid a terrible accident. As always, stay alert, be cautious and drive safely.