Look Out for Deer - Part 1

Slow down, blast the horn, and flick the headlights if you see a deer on or near your path.  Ideally, the deer will move out of the way.  No one wants to hit a deer in the roadway, but a crash may be unavoidable.

Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer.  A sharp turn of the steering wheel may cause you to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a bridge, post, tree, or oncoming car.  Critical injury to those inside the car is likely.  This type of collision is apt to cause major damage to the vehicle.

Instead, remain calm and brace for impact.  Hold the steering wheel tightly, apply brakes firmly, and maintain a straight course.  After crashing into the deer, pull off the road in a safe place, and turn on emergency flashers.  Your vehicle will need repair, but those inside are less likely to be hurt.  Call 911 to report the incident.  Request medical help if you or passengers are injured.  Remain inside the car until assistance arrives.  Do not touch the wounded animal.

Other points to keep in mind:

  • Pay extra attention when deer are most active, 5:00 p.m. to midnight and 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
  • Be alert when driving through areas where deer are known to congregate.
  • Drive with high beam headlights at night when possible.
  • Always wear a seatbelt and insist passengers do the same.