Watch for Deer, it’s the season

Autumn is beautiful, but it also introduces some driving hazards, with deer collisions being one of them. From October to December, hunting and mating season causes deer to be on the move. Watch carefully, protector your vehicle from a deer collision.

Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid hitting a deer.

Know where the deer are likely to be. Areas with high deer populations are normally marked with a bright yellow sign. Deer also tend to graze in wooded areas or open fields. When driving your usual route to work, be attentive to areas where you’ve seen deer in the past, they are likely to cross there again.

Be alert at sunrise and sunset. Deer are more active during dawn and dusk hours.

Use your high beams. When possible, use your high beams for better visibility. The extra light will help make it easier to spot a deer, or other animals, lurking alongside the road.

Don’t rely on deer gadgets. Whether it’s a deer whistle, deer fence or other type of product to scare away the deer… don’t rely solely on them to keep deer away. Research isn’t exact on whether or not these products truly work.

When you see 1 deer, you’ll probably see more. Deer travel in groups. If one comes across your path, proceed with caution in case there are more.

Don’t swerve. Swerving isn’t always the safest option. Hitting a deer might often cause less damage than swerving to avoid it… and then hitting a more dangerous obstacle, like a vehicle in oncoming traffic.

Wear your seat belt. If you do hit a deer, wearing a seat belt decreases your chances of injury.

Spread the word. When friends or family head out on the road, let them know to be careful and alert. Even a simple reminder can help prevent deer collisions.

If you are unfortunate and do have a vehicle-deer collision, follow these helpful tips for a safe conclusion.

Pull over. Move your vehicle to a safe place off the road. Don’t forget to turn on your hazard lights.

Stay away from the deer. An injured deer may still lash out and hurt someone.

Assess the damage. When you’re out of harm’s way, examine your vehicle and take photographs of any damage to your car. Use good judgement to know if your car is safe to drive or if you’ll need to call for a tow truck. 

Call for help. Depending on the circumstances, consider calling the police. While it’s not always required to file a police report, it can provide evidence if you decide to make an insurance claim. If the deer is still in the middle of the road, a trained professional can move it away for everyone’s safety.