December isn’t just the holiday season; it’s also the tail end of deer mating season when the animals are more prone to wander.
Unfortunately, fleet drivers this time of year are much more likely to see a deer dart unexpectedly into the roadway than to see one towing a flying sleigh. So here are some tips from the Insurance Information Institute to help drivers avoid a collision with a deer:
- 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 moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland. Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.
- When driving at night, use high-beam headlights if there’s 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 the deer away.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car/deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
- Don’t 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 touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.
To view a video about the subject from News 10 ABC in Albany, N.Y., click on the photo or link below the headline.