When you’re enjoying a scenic drive to see the beauty of autumn colors, don’t get too distracted—there are likely deer in the woods just off the road. Deer collisions are more common in the fall for a few reasons:
- Mating season. As deer start to mate, they travel much more. Bucks are often vying for the attention of females, and if a buck approaches a doe near the road, the doe could easily get scared and run out into your path, giving you little notice to hit the brakes.
- Hunting season. Once hunting season starts, deer are on the move, which often means crossing the road. In Minnesota, bow season begins in mid-September, so deer will become more present along the roads very soon.
- Earlier sunsets. In November, daylight savings time will end, and evening work commutes will take place in the dark. Even now, the sun is setting earlier—deer are still active in the late evening, and with low visibility, it’s hard to see them and have enough time to stop.
Deer collisions can be dangerous, and repairs can be costly. So, what can you do to avoid hitting a deer?
- Be aware and alert. If you take the same route every day, make a note of where you commonly see deer. Also be on the lookout for deer crossing signs and heavily wooded areas.
- Slow down. Especially in the evening and in wooden areas, reduce your speed. If you spot a deer at a slower speed, you’ll likely have enough time to stop.
- Don’t swerve. If you do see a deer, sometimes the first instinct can be to swerve the vehicle to avoid hitting it. However, this can confuse the deer as to which direction they should go, so braking is your best bet.
- If you see one deer, assume there are others nearby. Deer often travel in packs or with their family, so if you avoid one deer, be on the lookout for others.
If you do hit a deer, move to the side of the road and call the police to notify them of the deer. If the deer has been hit badly and is still in the road, don’t approach it, as it can be dangerous if still alive. Check your vehicle for damages and make sure it’s safe enough to drive—otherwise, get it towed. If your car is safe to drive, still take pictures of the damage and call your insurance company.
Our motto is, if you hit a deer, bring it here. Crossroads Collision works with all insurance companies and will negotiate a repair cost for you. We’ll make your repair process pleasant!