The arrival of the fall season signals that it’s time again to remind fleet drivers about those four-legged, came-out-of-nowhere road hazards called deer. Already, many regions of the country have seen an uptick in deer-car collisions in recent days.
Here’s some advice from AAA on how to prevent, or at least limit, deer collision damage. You may want to pass these tips along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Drive with caution when traveling through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
- Keep in mind that deer seldom travel alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.
- When driving at night, use high-beam headlights if there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten any deer away.
- Brake firmly when you spot a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when a driver swerves to avoid a deer and hits another vehicle or loses control of the car.
- Always wear your seat belt. Most people seriously injured in car-deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
- If your vehicle strikes a deer, don't try to assist the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best approach is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police and notify your fleet manager.
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