Deer crossing sign

Understand What the Deer Crossing Sign Mean

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.

Deer at night - State Farm

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.

Read More

What to Do If You See a Deer Crossing the Road by Driver’s Prep.

Safe Driving

Accident

 

Most written tests for a driver’s license in U.S. will address alcohol, or drinking and driving. You will learn from the driver’s manual that alcohol is the number one killer on U.S. highways. Alcohol is involved in approximately 40% of all traffic deaths. Among persons aged 16 to 20, the percentage is 36. (niaaa.nih.gov).

The reason is that it highly increases the risk of driver-related errors.

Driver errors range from driving too fast, following cars too closely, unsafe overtaking, running a red light and many other careless mistakes. But also over-correcting when running off the pavement.

In theory, the way back to the road is very simple: stay calm, decelerate, don’t slam on the brakes, and then slowly ease back onto the roadway or your lane when it is safe.

Theory is of course one thing, real life something else.

16-year-old Joseph Gerald Hart died in North Carolina after being in a head-on crash with a delivery truck. He had run off the pavement and quickly over-corrected trying to get back on the road, getting too far onto the opposite lane.

Many driving schools have started to give students hands on experience in off-road recovery. Never try to get back on the road until you got full control and you know that it is safe.

If you already have your driver’s license: repeat theory and make yourself aware of the risks involved.

Another common driver error is swerving out of one’s lane. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 15,574 people died in US traffic accidents in 2007 because a driver swerved out of their lane. Alcohol and/or cell-phone use are often the reason behind this kind of distracted driving.

Don’t drink and drive. And hang up your cell phone.