Along with hay rides, cooling temperatures, and brilliant foliage, Fall can bring some unexpected dangers to your commute. In late October and November, states across the nation see the fall mating season for white-tailed deer begin.
With this comes significant danger to drivers. During this time, deer become very active and unpredictable, covering large areas in search of a mate. A result of this is that drivers will often see groups of deer crossing roads.
This generates tens of thousands of deer-vehicle crashes every year, resulting in millions of dollars in damage. To help prevent this happening to you, please review the tips below:
- If you spot a deer, slow down and pay attention to possible sudden movement. If the deer doesn’t move, don’t go around it. Wait for the deer to pass and the road is clear.
- Pay attention to “Deer Crossing” signs. They are there for a reason. Slow down when traveling through areas known to have a high concentration of deer so you will have ample time to stop if necessary.
- If you are traveling after dark, use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. High beams will be reflected by the eyes of deer on or near roads.
- If you see one deer, be on guard: others may be in the area. Deer typically move in family groups at this time of year and cross roads single-file.
- Don’t tailgate. Remember: the driver in front of you might have to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a deer.
- Always wear a seatbelt, as required by law. Drive at a safe and sensible speed, taking into account weather, available lighting, traffic, curves and other road conditions.
- If a collision appears inevitable, do not swerve to avoid impact. The deer may counter-maneuver suddenly. Brake firmly, but stay in your lane. Collisions are more likely to become fatal when a driver swerves to avoid a deer and instead collides with oncoming traffic or a fixed structure along the road.
- Report any deer-vehicle collision to a local law enforcement agency immediately.