In autumn, deer become more active as they prepare for mating season. During this time, we are more likely to see deer on the road which can result in a higher risk of deer-related vehicle accidents. To reduce the risk of hitting a deer, always stay alert while driving and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Here are a few driving safety pointers to keep in mind.
1. Be Cautious While Driving At Dusk Or Dawn
While deer can be seen throughout the day and night, they are mostly crepuscular animals, meaning they tend to appear most commonly at dawn and dusk. During these times, visibility is lower so slow down and use high-beam headlights to see better—but be sure to tone them down when oncoming traffic approaches in order not to obscure other drivers' vision. Bright lights can reflect off the eyes of deer and make it easier to spot them in the dark. While your regular headlights will reflect off a deer’s eyes from nearby, your high beams will cast light further and will help you spot deer from a greater distance. By looking out for that reflection, you should have more time to slow down and pass the deer safely.
2. Pay Attention To Deer Crossing Signs
Deer crossing signs indicate that deer are frequently in the area and at least five deer-car related accidents have occurred in that spot within a twelve-month period. Be alert and observe your surroundings for any signs of wildlife while on the road.
3. Stay Alert If You Spot A Deer
Use caution if you spot a deer near the roadway and be ready to apply your brakes as soon as possible if you see one approaching. Reduce your speed even if a deer crosses the road far in advance of your car. Deer are herd animals, so wherever one is found, there will probably be more nearby.
4. Take Precautions When Driving At Night
Driving at night can strain our eyes, so stay safe by driving at a moderate speed. Turn on your high beams if there is no oncoming traffic so that you can see more clearly and increase your chances of spotting a deer from a distance.
5. Do Not Swerve To Avoid Hitting A Deer
If a deer comes into your lane, stay calm and brake firmly. Deer are unpredictable, and you could inadvertently swerve directly into their path in your attempt to avoid them. Swerving could also cause you to lose control of your vehicle and run off the road, or worse yet, it may put you at risk of a collision with another vehicle or object.
What To Do If You Hit A Deer
● As soon as it is safe to do so, move to the side of the road.
● Turn on your hazard lights and remain in the vehicle until it is safe to exit.
● If there are any injuries, dial 911. If there is property damage, contact the local nonemergency number.
● Keep your distance from the deer. If it is still alive, it could be confused and hurt, and become dangerous if approached.
● If the deer is on a part of the road where other drivers may come into contact with it, inform the authorities so that they can remove it.
The best way to avoid a collision with a deer is to drive defensively. Keep your eyes peeled for those bucks and does. If you or a loved one has been has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, reach out to the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Hirsch Andrade, LLP. Call us at (203) 331-8888 or visit our website for a free consultation today.