Watch Out – Deer Crossing
There is a certain time of the year when it is mating season for white-tail deer. Typically this season is from late October through early December and is characterized by, well, a lot of mating. Paul Peditto, director of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources explained it this way, "The breeding-age bucks, frankly kind of lose their minds." And since that means they are chasing female deer, a lot of dashing around occurs.
Unfortunately, much of this activity occurs on or near roadways where cars and trucks are driving leading to many collisions. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year with over $3.7 billion in vehicle damage. Want to avoid a deer collision, here's a few tips to keep in mind.
1) Timing is everything
Deer are most active at dusk and dawn. Drive especially slow at those times and stay alert, especially after dark when its hard to see deer.
2) Watch for the rest
White-tail deer are pack animals and rarely travel alone. If a deer crosses in front of you, chances are that there more deer following. If you see a deer cross over the road, Slow down and keep an eye out for any others following.
3) Look for Deer signs
The yellow diamonds with the deer on it are placed by Fish and Game in high-traffic deer areas. A lot of study goes into the location of those markings so pay special attention when you drive through.
4) Wear your seat belt
There's not much you can do if a deer jumps in front of you, but you can be prepared if ones does. If the inevitable happens, a seat belt will almost certainly reduce injuries. According to Jones Chrysler of Bel Air, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram of Bel Air, MD, seatbelts are specifically designed to work with airbags. This is especially true if you lose control and collide with something bigger than a deer; you want you're your seatbelts and airbags working together.
5) Center lane
On a multi-lane road, the center lane is your safest bet for avoiding a deer collision. This gives deer plenty of space; and in case your vehicle does startle them, it gives you more time to react.
6) Don't panic
This is very important. If you see a deer in your path, brake firmly and calmly, and stay in your lane. Violent swerving to avoid a deer could make you lose control of your vehicle and make things much worse. Not to mention, deer are unpredictable, and you could drive directly into their path.
Some experts recommend that a good long blast of the horn will scare most deer out of the road. Do not rely on those gimmicky hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off deer—studies have shown them to be ineffective and really just a waste of money.
Image Source: Goolge Images