BAY CITY, Mich. - We've all been there, or know someone who has; you're driving along on a winding country road when all of a sudden a flash of brown crosses your path — you've hit a deer. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large animal collisions have accounted for an average 187 fatalities in recent years. With deer season just around the corner, more and more drivers need to stay alert and aware when driving, especially during dawn and dusk. Here are some simple tips on how to avoid hitting a deer on the road this fall!
- The two most important ways to avoid a potential dear collision are slow down and then SLOW DOWN. If you're traveling through an area known for its high deer population, slow down and follow the posted speed limit.
- Always wear a seatbelt. The most significant and severe injuries in deer-vehicle accidents usually result from failure to use a seat belt.
- Engage your high-beams or bright-lights whenever the road is free of oncoming traffic at night. This will increase your visibility and give you more time to react.
- Keep a look out for eye shine along the roadside, and immediately slow your vehicle down.
- Deer breeding season usually runs from October through early January. This is the time when deer are heavily active and on the move. This is also when deer-vehicle collisions are at their peak.
- Even though deer may wander in and out of residential neighborhoods, they are most commonly found on the outskirts of town and in heavily wooded areas.
- Deer are natural pack animal and are rarely found alone, thus, if you see one deer you can bet there is a another close by.
Encountering a Deer
- Never, EVER, swerve to avoid hitting a deer in the road. Stay the defensive driver and avoid veering into the opposite lane to avoid a collision. Swerving can lead to a collision with an oncoming vehicle, take you off the roadway and into a tree or ditch, and greatly increase your chance of severe injuries.
- Deer are very unpredictable, even one who is calmly standing on the side of the road could jump in front of your vehicle for no reason. If you do see a deer, slow down and maintain control to allow the deer to cross the road or until you have successfully passed the deer completely.
- If unfortunately you do collide with a deer (or any other large animal) call emergency services immediately if injuries are involved, or local police if no one is injured, but damage has been caused to your or someone else's property.
If there is only one thing you take away from these tips on how to avoid hitting a deer on the road, let it be this: don't veer for deer. Also, remember to not approach the deer if you do indeed hit it because it could still be alive and your presence may startle it more.
We hope you don't have any deer-vehicle collisions this fall, however, if you do, our Caro area certified service center will get your vehicle back on the road in no time at all!
For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: www.GraffBayCity.com.
Follow us: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+