The beginning of fall also marks the beginning of mating season for deer. The odds of hitting a deer almost doubles from October – December. There are thousands of car accidents involving deer every year that cost millions in vehicle damage. Not only can these accidents cause damage to your vehicle, but they can cause serious injuries or death. Learn how to avoid deer and other animals by reading these tips below.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings:
Long stretches of highway are usually isolated so deer are even less likely to be scared off by frequent traffic. Also keep in mind that rural highways are built along creeks, rivers, and lakes that all attract deer and other animals. You should be extra careful when you are near large fields and wooded areas. You are going to want to keep alert and pay attention to deer crossing signs and slow down. If it is dark, use your high beam headlights as much as possible at night, especially if you are in active deer areas. Keep your eyes moving and watch for the reflection of deer eyes and the silhouette of deer and other animals on the the shoulder of the road.
Know When Activity Increases:
Collisions with deer can happen anytime of the year, but most occur in November. It is also important to keep in mind that young deer start to become more adventurous in May and June as well. Deer and other animals are the most active between dusk and dawn since they are nocturnal feeders. Deer usually travel in herds and cross highways in a single file manner so a single deer in the road could mean that there are more getting ready to cross.
Panicking can lead to swerving, but swerving can be very dangerous and put your life and the lives of others on the road at risk. Instead of swerving, as long as there are no other cars around, you can honk your horn in short bursts to try and scare the animal off. Reduce your speed as much as possible and keep your vehicle in your lane. Do what you can to reasonably avoid an animal collision, but not at the risk of swerving out of your lane or leaving the roadway.
How To React If You Hit An Animal:
Avoiding collisions with an animal isn’t always possible. If you do hit an animal you’ll first need to turn on your flashers and carefully pull over. After you carefully get out of your cab you should put down flares or reflective safety cones to alert other drivers of your presence. Inspect your tractor and call your safety department for the next steps to take.
Make sure you are extra cautious of wildlife on the road this time of the year. Remember to take your time, slow down, be alert and to buckle up!