Most importantly, never swerve to avoid deer. A sudden directional change may cause you to lose control and crash into a bridge, post, tree, or oncoming car. Instead, take your foot off the gas, brake firmly, and tightly hold the steering wheel. Maintain a straight course and brace for impact with the deer. There will be vehicle damage, but serious injury is less likely.
Other deer-related driving strategies:
- Deer are active in the early morning and evening hours. Minimize distractions and drive with extra focus during these times.
- Be alert when passing through areas where deer are known to congregate - dense woods, field edges, and near water.
- Use high beam headlights at night when possible. Bright lights illuminate deer eyes, giving the driver extra seconds to react.
- Slow down and blast the horn if you see deer along the roadside.
- Always wear a seatbelt and insist passengers do the same.
- Call 911 for assistance if you hit a deer. Request medical help if you or your passengers are inured.
- Pull your damaged vehicle to the side of the road and turn on emergency flashers. Stay in your car until help arrives. Do not touch the injured animal.