When you drive your car, you pay close attention to the drivers around you. Being aware of other drivers can help you avoid accidents. Unfortunately, not all auto accidents involve other automobiles, especially if you're on a highway where deer are often present. Here are three steps you can take to help you avoid car accidents involving deer.
Pay Attention to Deer Crossing Signs
If you see a deer crossing sign while you're driving, pay attention. Those signs are designed to warn you that deer crossings are common in that area. As soon as you see a deer crossing sign, you should slow down and watch for deer. Pay close attention to the sides of the road, including grassy areas or trees where deer may be hiding.
Watch for Groups
If you see a deer cross in front of you, don't assume that the danger has passed. Most deer travel in groups of two or more. They also usually travel single-file, which means that the first deer you see may very well be followed by several more. Accelerating after the first deer could put you in danger of colliding with one or more that are following. Instead, slow down as soon as you see the first deer and maintain that speed until you've passed the location where the deer came from.
Be Aware During Active Travel Time
Deer tend to be most active at dawn and dusk. If you're going to be traveling as the sun rises or sets, be sure to slow down in areas where deer are most active. Since cars can be difficult for deer to see when they're running towards the road, try to travel with your running lights on, especially in the early morning and early evening hours.
If a deer crosses your path, and a crash seems unavoidable, don't swerve to avoid the accident. Instead, grasp the steering wheel firmly with both hands, and put your foot on the brake while continuing to travel forward. Swerving to avoid contact with the deer could cause you to spin out of control, travel into oncoming traffic or flip over in your car.
If you're going to be traveling in areas that are frequented by deer, be prepared. The tips provided here will help you avoid accidents involving deer. If you are involved in an accident with a deer, be sure to notify local law enforcement and an insurance company (such as Olympic Northwest Insurance).