Defensive Driving Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer

By November 17, 2016Safety

It’s Deer Season!

The past 2 years of heavy rainfall in many parts of the U.S. have led to an increase in the deer population making it more likely for auto/deer collisions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that there are more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in 150 occupant deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and over $1 billion in vehicle damage. We have compiled a list of tips to get you over the hill and through the woods to grandma’s house safely this holiday season!

Defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer:

  • The highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions are from sunset to midnight and the hours around sunrise.
  • Remember Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others are typically nearby.
  • Drive vigilant when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population such as agricultural and forestland.
  • Scan both sides of the road! Some evidence shows that drivers tend to watch the side of the road next to the passenger seat more than their own side, making a false assumption that only one side is a problem.
  • Drive in the center lane if you are traveling on a 3 lane road, or center the car as much as possible if it is a 2 lane road.
  • When driving at night, be sure to use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Brake firmly, blow your horn solidly and put on your hazard lights when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their car.
  • Always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers buckle up too. Most people injured in car/deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
  • If you hit a deer, don’t touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. Best practice is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.
Heather White

Author Heather White

Communications professional with 15+ years’ experience in the hi-tech industry interfacing with executive-level members, technical staff, sales and the valued end-client.

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