Sharpen your awareness of deer on the road and avoid potential collisions
We’re in the thick of deer season (October through December). More deer-vehicle collisions happen during these months than at any other time of the year. With sizeable movements in the deer population this season, many of these beautiful animals unfortunately wind up on roadways big and small – posing sudden hazards to unsuspecting drivers.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions happen each year, resulting in 150 deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and more than $1 billion in damage to vehicles. “Not only are more deer on the move, more of their habitats are becoming smaller,” said McCabe Group’s Andrew McCabe. “Drivers need to be extra careful this time of year to avoid hitting a deer, especially when driving near wooded areas.”
Below, McCabe Group offers some tips for avoiding deer-vehicle collisions:
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- If a deer “freezes” in your headlights, turn your lights off and then back on.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Be especially cautious when driving on two-lane and rural roads.
- If you see one deer cross, slow down and watch for others to follow.
- Glance continuously from the road to the roadside, looking for movement where roads are bordered by fields or natural habitat.
- Heed deer crossing signs and reduce speed in deer “hot spots.”
Many deer collisions happen on busy highways near cities, so it’s important to stay alert in urban as well as rural areas when behind the wheel.
For more information on this and other safety topics, contact McCabe Group at 414-326-9337.