Let’s start with a discussion of Mammalian Reproduction. There is a certain time of the year when it is mating season for white-tail deer. Typically, this season is from about Halloween through November and is characterized by, well, a lot of frisky deer. Specifically, Paul Peditto, director of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service explained, “The breeding-age male deer, those bucks, frankly kind of lose their minds.” And since that means they are chasing female deer around, that a lot of dashing around occurs.
Unfortunately, much of this activity often occurs on or near roadways where cars and trucks are driving with the result that lots of collisions occur. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, resulting in over 200 fatalities, tens of thousands of injuries and over $3.7 billion in vehicle damage. Being prepared can help prevent you from adding to these numbers. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind.
Timing is everything
Deer are most active at dusk and dawn: periods when your vision is most compromised. Slow down and stay alert, especially after dark.
Watch for the rest
White-tail deer are pack animals, and rarely travel alone. If a deer crosses in front of you, chances are very good that there more deer following. Slow down ASAP and keep an eye out for any others.
Wear your seat belt
Often, there’s not much you can do if a deer leaps in front of you but you can be prepared. If the inevitable happen, a seat belt can help reduce injuries. According to Thunder Chrysler, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Bartow, FL, seatbelts are specifically designed to work with airbags. This is especially true if you lose control and collide with something bigger than a deer; you want you’re your seatbelts and airbags working together.
Look for Deer signs
The yellow diamonds with the deer on it are placed by Fish and Game in high-traffic areas for deer. Because they know this to be a high-density area, pay special attention when you drive through.
On a multi-lane road, the center lane is your safest bet for avoiding a deer collision. This gives deer plenty of space; and in case your vehicle does startle them, it gives you more time to react if one darts onto the road.
If you see a deer, brake firmly and calmly, and stay in your lane. Violent swerving to avoid the animal could make you lose control of your vehicle and make things much worse. Not to mention, deer are unpredictable, and you could jump directly into their path.
Make some noise
Some experts recommend that one long blast of the horn will scare most deer out of the road. Do not rely on those gimmicky hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off deer—studies have shown them to be largely ineffective at keeping deer away from cars and trucks.