It's that time of year again. Romance is alive in the deer world and it is wreaking havoc on the morning and evening commutes. Typically November is the start of the Deer Rut (mating season) and it sends the deer into a frenzy; leaping across the street to chase a doe or fleeing a large buck. With the crazy weather this Fall, the deer have chosen to court their mates a little sooner.
Inevitably, over 1 million drivers this year will have some type of collision with a deer which can cause not only damage to your vehicle, but injury or death to the vehicle occupants.
There are a few tips below that can help you avoid this type of collision.
1. The Golden Rule: Where there is ONE, there are MORE. Deer travel in groups so it is important to remember that if you see one cross the street or on the side of the road, you can be sure there are more. Slow down, put your hazards on to alert the traffic around you and continue with caution. Feel free to honk and scare the deer if needed. 🔊🔊🔊🦌🦌🦌
2. The majority of deer collisions occur at dusk and dawn. Make sure you have your headlights on as deer eyes are extremely reflective. They are visible from several hundred feet away so be sure to constantly scan the edges of the roadways. Give yourself extra time if you have to travel during dawn and dusk and reduce speed near wooded areas and where deer crossing signs are posted. Deer crossing signs are in places where deer traffic is extremely high and where there have been a large number of reported deer collisions. ⚠️⚠️⚠️
3. Deer whistles work. The small plastic whistles that stick onto the front of your car are effective. The whistles make a noise that alert the deer when traveling 25 mph or over. The unpleasant noise the whistles produce cause the deer to run away from the source of the sound. They can be purchased at most hardware stores and auto stores and are fairly inexpensive. 🎶🎶
4. It should go without saying, but wear your seatbelt. Often times drivers will try to avoid the deer in the roadway and veer off the street into a fixed object like a tree, or worse, into oncoming traffic. Many fatalities that do occur with deer collisions are because the occupants or drivers were not wearing their seatbelt. ❤️
Keep in mind that you can do everything right and still be involved in a collision with a deer. If that happens, follow these steps:
1. Don't panic. 😱
2. Pull to the side of the road where it is safe to do so. 🚘
3. Put your hazards on. 🚧
4. Call the police and provide them with your location and advise if the deer is in the road or still alive. 🚔
5. Unfortunately the deer is not always killed by the collision and officers have to respond to dispatch the deer. It is not a part of the job that anyone likes, but if the animal is suffering, it is the humane thing to do. In most cases, the deer carcass is removed by residents in town who have registered with the Guilford Police Department on the deer list. Those residents will take the deer and feed their families. On occasion, the deer is tagged and removed by DOT or DPW on the next working day. 🦌
Thank you for sharing and drive carefully! 🚔