When it comes to driving, safety is the number one priority. You should always be alert to your surroundings and traffic patterns. Unfortunately, you also have to be on the lookout for unexpected factors, like wildlife. If you live in an area with lots of trees or fields, you should always be on the lookout for deer while you are driving. Here are five ways to avoid a collision with deer while driving.
1. Know When They’re Active
One way that you can avoid colliding with a deer is to be aware of when they are most active. Deer will tend to be close to roadways when they are looking for food and are at their most active.
A good rule of thumb is to always be on the look out for deer between the hours of 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. You should also look out for them between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.
So make sure when you are in the middle of your daily commute, you are alert and actively prepared to see deer on the side of the road. Rush hour is already dangerous, so it’s best to keep yourself prepared to not add a collision with wildlife to the morning traffic.
2. Always Look for More
If you’ve ever found yourself stopping abruptly because of one deer crossing the road, you probably looked over to the side of the road and saw a couple of others. Deer travel in herds so if you see one deer, you are more than likely going to see another.
Since deer tend to cross the road and travel together they may follow one another onto the roadway. If this happens, you should try to stop and wait until you don’t see any more deer trying to cross the road.
3. Slow Down
When you are driving and happen upon a deer in the middle of the road, they may stop dead in their tracks. Ever heard of the saying “you look like a deer in headlights?” That’s based on deer’s tendencies to stop and stare at approaching vehicles out of fear. You may be tempted to flash your high beams or honk your horn, but this can actually scare the deer further.
If a deer becomes too scared it may run at your car and cause more damage. It’s in your best interest to slow down and wait out deer that are in the road or crossing the road.
You can also avoid collisions by making sure you drive the speed limit all of the time. You don’t want to get into a car accident for driving recklessly fast. Deer are very skittish and may jump out onto the road unexpectedly. So making sure you slow down and are driving safely can always help avoid accidents whether they are with deer or other vehicles.
Speeding accidents can become tragic. If you find yourself or a loved one who has been affected by an unfortunate accident out of your control, you should consult this detailed guide from JT Legal Group on how to get help.
4. Don’t Swerve
It is in our basic instincts to try whatever we can to avoid a collision. Unfroutnaley sometimes the safest option is to stay steady. Studies have found that no humans were harmed in 95% of wildlife crashes.
When you swerve, you put yourself, your passengers, and other drivers at a much higher risk of getting into an accident. If a deer jumps in front of your car, the best thing you can do to avoid the collision is to stay steady and hit the brakes. Don’t go for your first instinct and jerk your vehicle into oncoming traffic.
5. Stay Alert
The easiest thing you can do while driving to avoid any type of collision is to stay alert. This means putting down the phone and focusing on the road. You can easily see if deer are around if you are putting all of your attention into your driving.
You should also make sure that you are awake when you are driving and never under the influence. Keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel will make it easier for you to spot any wildlife and potential collisions.
Wildlife can be unpredictable and cause collisions anywhere in the country. Deer live all over North America and travel in packs. Sometimes, their skittish nature can turn a normal drive into a dangerous situation. But using these tips, you can take the steps necessary to practice safe driving habits and avoid collisions with wildlife.