How to Avoid Deer Car Collisions on Rural Roads

| 7/6/2011 10:00:12 AM

Tags: how to avoid hitting a deer, hitting a deer, car deer crashes, deer car collisions, car deer collisions, deer and car collisions, , Victoria Gazeley,

Deer and vehicleColliding with a deer in your car is not an experience I recommend. But in most cases, it's entirely avoidable if you keep in mind 5 simple tips. Except in my case. Here's that story.

In November of 2009 I was driving my son to his carpool on a cold, rainy, rather dark morning in my teensy, tiny little car (picture 6 inches off the ground and no front end ... modern little gas sipper).

There's this weird corner just down the road from us on the highway that's a 90 degree turn going uphill and banked oddly. As I entered the turn, and accelerated slightly to get us up and over the hill, something caught my eye at the right bumper - a deer coming up and out of the deep ditch.

With no shoulder on the road (and I mean none), neither the deer, nor we, had a chance. It all happened so fast.

You know those moments that are etched in your memory forever? The ones that no matter what you do, they never go away? This was one of those moments.

All I remember is the deer literally flying through the air, across the road, and into the ditch. And I'm sitting in a tiny, black, disabled car on a dark morning in a blind corner frequented by large, more often than not fast moving industrial vehicles (think fully loaded logging trucks). And my son was in the back seat.

12/7/2014 12:43:07 PM

Believe it or not, those 'Deer Whistlers' sold in many auto parts stores really work. For many years, I was one of those that thought them funny or a foolish novelty. My opinion changed after living in interior Alaska many years. An old Alaskan that drove for a delivery service swore by them and convinced us to give them a try. In the many years we drove between Fairbanks and Delta Junction, we lost count of the number of times we'd see various wildlife (moose, deer, caribou, and even wolves) standing at the edge of the forest with their ears up and watching our direction, waiting for the unusual noise to pass before crossing the highway. The only close encounter was the result of having one fall off. So no solution is perfect, but these can make a big difference.

11/25/2014 1:21:36 PM

I hit the hind end of a deer, crossing left to right, on a two lane road. It was unavoidable. The deer came across the road from the left and made it past an oncoming car in that lane. I braked, but had nowhere to go. There was the car in the other lane, and if I had swerved to the right I would have just gone in the direction the deer was going and did more damage. I probably messed up his right rear leg and hind quarter pretty bad, but had to keep going since there was a car behind me too and no immediate place to pull off the road. The car was still driveable but needed extensive body work. People drive like idiots, as you say exceeding the speed limit under all conditions. If you drive at or below the speed limit, they either tailgate you or barrel around you the first chance they get. Usually while on their cell phones. People are idiots.

5/8/2014 7:26:56 AM

rural areas are very beautiful in look and the natural environment of those areas are really interesting. But the animal killing is a crime that going on in those areas in a higher %. In order to avoid those situation better to add provide board in those areas so that the car riders can watch it and can prevent from hitting the dears.

4/29/2014 5:12:46 AM

Collision of animals with the car takes the life that increasing day to day and increasing the death rate. Just like the deer collision with car that taking the life of deer and creating problem. I think this should be solved and it can be solved only when the people who are driving the car would be conscious towards driving. If you are facing any problem related to your car then please visit

victoria gazeley
8/9/2011 1:31:18 PM

Sandy, I'm so sorry to hear that happened to you... it's always a bit traumatic for everyone involved. Thank goodness you were OK! And Richard, I've been trying the same thing. Doesn't always work for us, but it's better than nothing! I've been thinking of trying one of those deer whistles you mount on the exterior of the car. Have you tried one of those?

richard childers
7/8/2011 11:13:07 AM

I have begun to cultivate the following reflexive action, when I am driving; whenever I see a deer, I beep my horn. The idea is to scare it into reflexively bolting, preferably in the opposite direction. (I also drive with my headlights on, at all times.)

sandy loam
7/7/2011 9:24:25 PM

Hit a bear at midnight a few years back. He/she came down a bank right onto the highway no more then 5 feet in front of my wifes little red car. There was nothing I could do but hit the brakes and try to ovoid it. Sad thing is a bear either lost it's life or walks with a considerable limp and we lost the best vehicle we have ever owned. That night/morning called the Washington State Patrol to report it. Talked to the Park Ranger near the accident,the next morning and he had no knowledge of an injured bear. My wife and daughter were being baptised at the river less then 500 yards away and less then 12 hours from where and when I hit the bear. We were going 5-10 MPH then the posted speed limit.

victoria gazeley
7/7/2011 12:34:07 PM

Thanks, Nebraska Dave! I agree re people driving crazy - the trip we did over the weekend was a good lesson for my son. I always think of how little room for manoevering people have at those speeds. It really is amazing there aren't MORE accidents, but thank goodness there isn't. As for my car, this was last fall and they did the repair, but it was borderline ($4500 damage). Not something I want to ever repeat! Glad to hear your daughter came through her ordeal OK - it's not one I would ever want to repeat, especially when I think of what COULD have happened...

nebraska dave
7/6/2011 8:15:49 PM

Victoria, I haven't been the recipient of a deer in the grill experience but my daughter has. In her case it totally destroyed her car. Good old Dad, me, rescued her with the tow dolly as it happened about 150 miles away from home. When ever I see a deer crossing sign I usually begin the very cautious driving mode and shoot up a quick prayer to keep those deer off the highway. We have that same law here about killing hit deer on the highway but they are usually lenient about the suffering animals. The law really is intended for highway poaching. I agree with you that people driving really need to slow down. I've always been a speed limit driver. Goodness gracious at rush hour time here when I drive the speed limit I practically get my doors blown off. When a motor cycle comes by so scary fast that it rocks the car, that's an organ donor just waiting to happen. How did we ever get to a world that is rushing around to get some where? Now that I'm retired I sure am glad that I don't have to be out in that race rack called the ride to work. I tell everyone I talk to that retirement is great and that I recommend that you do it as soon as you can. Have a great day and I hope that you car gets back on the road real soon.

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