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Ladies Auto Know…How to Avoid a Deer Collision

Deer that suddenly appear out of nowhere can often put drivers someplace they don’t want to be. Unlike television ads where a driver swerves wildly around the animal and then speeds off carelessly into the blackness, encountering a deer while on the road can be both dangerous and scary.2f18fac8b0238983b259b9f682efeb55

The likeliness of spotting a deer on the road is greatest during October through December, when male deer activity dramatically increases, resulting in a number of vehicular collisions. Often, a deer colliding with a car can result in significant property damage and even life-threatening situations. According to the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute, on average, deer-vehicle collisions costs $2,800 per insurance claim, and that cost increases to $10,000 if there is an injury involved.

In order to stay safe, consider the following:

  • Watch the Clock – Deer are most active from sunset to midnight and during the hours just before and after sunrise, which are feeding times.
  • Watch Your Speed – It’s not just the speed of animal that plays a factor–it’s the speed of your vehicle as well. The two most important ways to avoid a deer-vehicle collision are: slow down and well…SLOW DOWN. If you are driving through an area known for high deer populations, observe the speed limit. Give yourself time to hit the brakes in case an animal does cross into your path.
  • Be Attentive – As pack animals, deer almost never travel alone. If you see one, more than likely there are others nearby. Also, keep an eye out for the shine of eyes along the roadside. Use your high beams whenever the road is free of oncoming traffic. This increases visibility.
  • Don’t Swerve – If a deer is suddenly in front of you, sound your horn to frighten it away. Brake firmly but stay in your lane. Crashes happen when drivers swerve to avoid a deer, only to hit other vehicles or lose control of their cars. (Swerving can also confuse a deer on where to run.) What do you think would do the most damage? Crashing into another vehicle or a deer on the road?
  • Wear Your Seatbelt – This should go without saying! The most severe injuries in deer-vehicle collisions usually result from failure to buckle up.

550px-Avoid-a-Moose-or-Deer-Collision-Step-9Remember, deer are unpredictable creatures, and one that is calmly standing by the side of the road may suddenly leap into the roadway without warning. Slowing down when you spot a deer is the best way to avoid a collision. However, if one does move into your path, maintain control and do your best to brake and give the deer time to get out of your way. Unlike those unrealistic TV ads, knowing what to do when you encounter a large animal on or near the roadway can be a life-saver. Keeping calm and driving smart improve your chances of avoiding a collision and staying safe on the road. Safe travels!

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