How to Avoid Deer Car Collisions on Rural Roads

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

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.

2/22/2019 10:30:13 AM

When I was living in a mountain town for several years, I figured out that if you can break the deer's trance (aka their 'freeze and identify threat' instinct) by either blinking your lights or hitting your horn in a rapid staccato with your fist while you never, ever swerve the deer will be able to move out of the way rapidly with less blind panic. Before I figured that out I was joking that I should get my car a hunting license because it sheered the shoulder off a mule deer and later smashed a young elk (and probably broke a leg or two among her family members, too...yeah, I plowed into a herd in the middle of the night...). Car survived (First gen Neons are surprisingly resilient) but did need its front end rebuilt after the elk.

2/22/2019 7:55:17 AM

In all my years of driving at night and spotting deer I have never had hit one! Then one day at noon time a few were running across the road and I was completely stopped and bam! One slammed into the side of my car! Broad daylight and several cars on both sides all stopped and a deer runs into me! My advice don't swerve to miss them it's bad for your insurance as well as it may cause a more serious accident. Always do the speed limit it may help you to stop in time to avoid a deer and scan most people drive like they have blinders on! Keep scanning left to right and check those mirrors too! For get the phone!! We drove for many years without them do the same if you need to talk pull over and stop!, unless it is an extremely important emergency! Stay safe God bless,

2/22/2019 6:39:10 AM

As they say on my semi-rural road: "Anyone who drives at more than 50kph deserves to hit a deer..."

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