Safety Tips Animal and insect safety Driving safety Injury prevention Seasonal safety: Fall

Steer clear of deer

Photo: Carol Hamilton/iStockphoto

Deer-vehicle collisions peak during the fall months, but you need to be careful year-round. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has advice for avoiding collisions when deer are nearby:

  • Always maintain a safe amount of distance between your vehicle and others, especially at night. If the vehicle ahead of you hits a deer, you could become involved in the crash.
  • Most deer-vehicle collisions occur where the animals are more likely to travel: near bridges or overpasses, railroad tracks, streams, and ditches.
  • Deer often travel in small groups, so if you see one, be alert for others.
  • Drive with high beams on when possible and watch for deer eyes reflecting in your headlights.
  • If you see deer near a road, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast.
  • Slow down in areas posted with deer-crossing signs and in heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening.
  • Don’t swerve to avoid a collision. Swerving could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and lead to a more serious crash.
  • If your vehicle strikes a deer, don’t touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can be dangerous. Get your vehicle off the road, if possible, and call 911.

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