Deer Crossing Means You Must Be Alert
Between October and December, deer and car collisions are at their highest. But deer can dart into your path at any time of the year.
Be aware of the deer crossing sign anytime you drive through an area known for high deer populations. It tells you to slow down and be extra alert. Sometimes deer crossing signs are used together with a beacon that flashes when deer movement is detected.
Pay special attention to the roadsides at dawn and dusk. These are the times when deer are most likely to cross the road. Lower visibility can also make it more difficult for you to see them.
If there is one deer by the roadside, expect more. Deer almost never travel alone. Chances are there are others nearby. Your best defense against a crash, is to control your speed, avoid distractions, and stay alert.
200 Deaths Each Year
Collisions with deer and other wild animals result in almost 200 fatalities each year. State Farm estimates that 1.25 million auto-deer collisions occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. The average cost per insurance claim was $4,135.
Collisions with animals are more common than people think.
Don’t Swerve Around the Animal
If you are about to strike a deer, don’t try to swerve around the animal. They move quickly and you could lose control of your vehicle and go off the roadway. You also risk a head-on collision with oncoming vehicles. In both cases, you increase the chances of serious injuries.
As much as possible, you should try to bring your vehicle to a controlled stop or hit the deer at low speed.
If you hit a deer, report it to the police. If someone is injured, call emergency services.
Should You Flash Your Headlights?
If there is a deer standing in your path, should you try to deter the animal by flashing your headlights or using your horn? Most experts will tell you that it has little or no effect. The animal is usually deterred by the approach of your vehicle. Slowing down is often enough.
Flashing high beams at night could have the reversed effect and cause an animal to freeze. High beams will temporarily blind the animal. So, use your headlights with care when you approach a deer.
What to Do If You See a Deer Crossing the Road by Driver’s Prep.