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Driving Safely in Deer Country

Staying Safe in Areas Where Deer Frequent

Every year, hundreds of deer are hit while people drive on the road. Not only does this hurt or kill the animal, it can often cause thousands of dollars in damage to the driver’s car or injure the driver and any passengers. The majority of deer collisions occur in the mid to late fall due to this being the height of their mating season. Regardless, drivers should be alert for deer throughout the year, especially in more rural areas. Here are some tips drivers can use to help keep themselves, and the deer, safe all year round.

Know When Deer are Most Active

It is most important to know that deer are active right at dawn and again at dusk. These are also both times of day when the sun is just coming up or going down, which of course makes it even harder to see animals on the road. Should you see a deer crossing the road, make sure to slow down or stop even if the deer has successfully crossed – more often than not there is more than one deer ready to cross the road as these animals tend to travel in groups and does tend to have twins. Always make sure to check carefully for other deer crossing the road.

Take Cues from Other Drivers

Other drivers on the road may have seen a deer or group of deer you did not see. When someone is stopped in the road, it is safe to assume a deer is or has crossed – make sure to stay alert for other deer that may be crossing, and do not rush the driver in front of you. Additionally, if a driver slows down at a certain point in the road for no obvious reason, it may be because he or she knows the area and knows where deer are most active – make sure to follow the driver’s lead, especially during dawn and dusk.

Know What to Do is a Collision is Imminent

Should a collision with a deer be unavoidable, there are some things drivers can do to help minimize the damage or even avoid the accident. When unavoidable, remove your foot from the accelerator and slowly and smoothly begin to break. Make sure to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and keep the vehicle going straight – do not try to maneuver the vehicle to avoid the deer as they may run the same direction you’re turning, which could potentially cause more damage to the deer, you, and the car.

Looking for more safety tips or maybe Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is a Brigantine driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.

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