Five Ways to Avoid a Deer on the Road

By Sarah Fichter

According to US News, “more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year across the U.S., resulting in 150 fatalities and tens of thousands of injuries.” More than ever, individuals in society need to know the facts and precautions to avoid making this situation a reality. Here are five ways to protect you and your passengers.

Pay Attention to Road Signs
You may see yellow, diamond-shaped signs with a black deer symbol when driving. This sign indicates you are driving in an area where deer are commonly found. With that in mind, you must stay alert and pay attention to anything on the road that looks unusual. If it is dark outside, the yellow sign will illuminate from your headlights.

Do Not Swerve
If you see a deer, your first instinct is to swerve out of the way to avoid the deer. But this is very dangerous because you could disrupt or hit a car in the other lane. The safest way to avoid the deer is to brake firmly and remain calm. At the end of the day, it is better to hit the deer than lose control of your vehicle and potentially hit other vehicles.

Honk Your Horn
Studies have shown that if you see a deer on the road, a long honk on your horn may frighten the deer enough to make them run away. Sometimes deer do not see cars approaching or get confused, making them stand still on the road. Because of this, it is important to try and scare them away before you or the animal gets hurt.

If There is One, There May Be More
Deer are known to travel in packs, so if you see a deer on the road or the side, be aware of your surroundings. It is crucial not to speed when you spot deer on the road because the sight of one deer means there could be more nearby. You should keep both hands on the wheel for full control of your vehicle in case of an emergency.
Use Your Headlights

Early evening to nighttime is when you should have your headlights on for the safety of yourself and others on the road. If no other cars are around, it is recommended to use your high-beam headlights to give yourself more visibility of the road ahead. This gives you more time to take the steps necessary to avoid a deer if one is in sight.

Having knowledge and understanding of the rules of the road is crucial for the safety of all drivers. Unfortunately, unexplained things happen that can cause life-threatening situations. Individuals should always be prepared for these events and know how to protect themselves and others on the road. Make sure you are protected if a car accident does occur.

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