In many parts of the country, fall means deer season. While they are beautiful animals, deer come with high risk. It's estimated that deer related accidents account for around one million of the accidents reported in the United States each year and 200 accident-related fatalities. Since you may not be able to avoid the presence of deer on the road, learning how to safely navigate is important.
Be Mindful Of The Time Of Day
Deer encounters on the road are most likely to occur during dawn and dusk. It's imperative that you be on high-alert when driving during these periods. If the road is clear, turn on your high beams to give you a better view of the road. However, should you see a deer on the road, flash your lights as deer can sometimes get mesmerized by the steady light, causing them to stay stagnant on the road.
Although deer can travel to any area, they are more often found in heavily wooded areas. If you can take an alternate route that takes you away from these areas during these times of the day, that's a safer option.
Remember That Deer Travel In Herds
Deer commonly travel with counterparts. If you see a deer on the side of the road the likelihood that there are other deer nearby is very high. Make sure you are using extra caution. In this type of scenario, if traffic permits, it's best to turn on your hazards and stop for a few seconds to see if any other deer are passing by.
However, should there be other traffic on the road or if it is dark outside, simply slow down and keep your eyes on both sides of the road in case a deer comes out.
Stay In The Middle
If you are traveling through a high deer activity area on a multiple lane road, stay in the middle lane. On a three-lane highway this would be the center lane, on a two-lane road this would be the passing lane. Since any deer activity would likely be coming from the side of the road, driving in the middle gives you extra protection. This type of habit will give you more time to react, stop, and swerve to prevent colliding with the deer.
Make sure you are promoting safe driving during deer season to reduce your risk of a collision and, more importantly, an injury. However, in the event of an unavoidable collision, rest assured that your car insurance provider will be able to assist you.
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