Written by Joan S. Dentler
Deer are part of life and although we’ve devised methods to keep them from eating our plants, traipsing through our yards and jumping our fences, there’s one thing we can’t avoid---the inevitable deer-vehicle collision on our roadways.
Fall is deer mating season, so the gentle creatures will be more prolific in our neighborhoods and thoroughfares in the coming weeks, so drivers need to be on high alert. According to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, there are as many as 1,800 wildlife-vehicle collisions a year in California.
So what’s the best way to move a deer out of your path in the road? According to Mr. Roadshow at the Merc, there’s mixed advice—while some officials say a toot or two of the horn can get the deer moving, others say a loud blast can send them scattering, posing other safety risks.
Here are a few tips when encountering deer while driving:
- Deer are most active at dawn and dusk, so be extra aware during those times (especially 6-9 p.m.)
- Heed deer crossing signs; slow down in wooded areas, and keep your eyes moving, glancing to both sides of the road.
- When you see one deer, expect there may be more---they typically roam in groups.
- If a collision is imminent, brake firmly and attempt to stop. Do not swerve. Swerving could cause loss of control or place you in the path of another vehicle.
- At night use high-beam lights as much as possible to illuminate areas from which deer could enter roads.
- If you hit a deer, call 911. Don’t stop to touch or help the animal.
Have you noticed an increase in the local deer population recently? Have you had any close encounters with deer while driving? Tell us in the comment section below.