Drive Safely During Deer Mating Season

by Lithium Technologies ‎09-30-2015 09:55 AM - edited ‎10-08-2015 02:28 PM (1,497 Views)

 

In fall, deer are more likely to appear on roads. Here’s how to avoid crashing into them.

 

The North American deer is renowned for the damage it can cause to your vehicle. Fall is mating season for this mammal, so you’re more likely to encounter it during the last three months of the year.

 

Deer collisions cause about 200 fatalities and 1 million crashes a year nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s important to keep an eye out for this four-legged creature. Here are some tips on how to avoid hitting a deer—and what to do if a crash is unavoidable.

 

Avoid a collision

  • Heed deer crossing and speed limit signs.
  • Deer frequently travel in groups. If you see one deer crossing or standing alongside the road, chances are there are others nearby. If you see a deer, slow down.
  • Be especially alert for deer at dawn and dusk.
  • Don’t try gimmicks. Flashing high-beam headlights or honking your horn won’t deter deer.

 

Minimize the impact

  • Don’t swerve, but do brake firmly.
  • Hold on to the steering wheel.
  • Stay in your lane. 
  • Bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.

 

Handle the aftermath

  • Pull off the road. Turn on your emergency flashers.
  • Don’t try to remove the deer from the roadway—it might not be dead and its hooves or antlers can injure you.
  • Report a crash to the police and your insurance company.

 

Read more AAA safe driving tips and download AAA’s Traffic Safety Guide.

 

A version of this story appears in the September/October 2015 issue of AAA Living magazine.

 

Image credit/source: Pamela Au/Alamy

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