Tips To Avoiding Hitting Deer, Driving Safer
More and more of my friends are telling me or posting on facebook that they hit a deer. I once hit a deer and it was at a high speed and I thought I was going to slide off the road and flip my car.
I was driving home from Mora, closer to I-35 about to go North and get myself a slider. Out of nowhere came a deer and it was hard. I had never hit a deer and expected them to fly forward. Instead, the deer bounced off the front, slid on the pavement and off the road, my car spun and I lost control for a bit. I was able to gain the steering back and I stopped with my hear pounding.
Some deer to vehicle accidents can be fatal, lucky mine wasn't. I wasn't even hurt.
MnDOT offers these tips to help reduce your chances of hitting a deer:
- Be particularly alert in the fall and spring. More than half of the crashes happen in late October and November when deer are mating, and in May and June during the birthing season.
- Be vigilant at dusk and at dawn. A high percentage of crashes occur during the low-light or dark hours of the day when deer move between daytime bedding sites and evening feeding areas.
- Slow down and scan the sides of the road and ditches for animals when driving through forested lands or near river and stream banks. Especially drive with caution in marked deer-crossing zones and along roads surrounded by farmland or forests as these are areas known for large deer populations.
- Drive defensively and expect the unexpected. If you see a deer near the road, slow down because it might dart in front of you. If you see one deer, look for the next one. Deer often travel together but single file.
- Don’t swerve. While it may seem like the right thing to do, swerving to avoid a deer could cause you to lose control or travel into the path of another vehicle. Striking a deer is safer than colliding with another vehicle or a tree. Stay in your lane, brake firmly and hold onto the steering wheel.
- Motorcyclists should avoid night and low-light riding times. A rider’s best response when encountering a deer is to use both brakes for maximum braking and to keep their eyes and head up to improve chances of keeping the bike up. Riders should wear full face helmets and full protective gear.