Don’t Buck Safety—Tips to Avoid Deer-Vehicle Collisions

Published by Chrissy Matthies.

I live in the land of cute, fluffy deer tails and crazy, two-lane country roads. The minute I smell fall in the air, I know that deer are out and about, looking to start a family and searching for an escape route from hunters, both of which often send them darting into roadways. 

According to Allstate Insurance, vehicle collisions with deer rise from October through December, spiking in November. Now that we’re entering autumn, here are some tips to help keep you, your family, and Bambi safe:

  • Deer are more active during sunset and nighttime hours. Turn your high-beams on when there’s no oncoming traffic. The bright lights will illuminate the deer’s eyes, giving you more time to slow down.
  • If you spot one deer on the side of the road, his or her friends and family may not be far behind. Slow down and wait to see if other deer are poised to cross before picking up speed.
  • Don’t swerve out of your lane of traffic. Deer have the grace of ballet dancers and can change direction in a heartbeat. They may not go where you expect them to go, so brake firmly and stay in your lane so that you don’t endanger other drivers.
  • Make sure your lights, brakes, and tires are in tip-top condition. Brake lights are crucial. If other drivers aren’t alerted to the fact that you’re slowing down, they may crash into you.
  • Always, always, always wear your seatbelt. Make sure that you and your passengers are buckled in before you leave your driveway.

If you do hit a deer, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers and dial 9-1-1. Ask police to send an officer to the scene immediately. Don’t leave until you are sure the animal is getting the help he or she needs.

Remember: Before you high-tail it down a country road, slow down and pay attention. Deer-crossing signs aren’t there for decoration.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind