From October through December, deer are roaming the roads and causing thousands of car accidents. The fall is prime mating season for deer, and with hunting season occurring at the same time, they’re on the move in wooded areas. According to the Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota is in the top 10 states for deer collisions. Here are some safety tips to keep those numbers down:
Many times, deer will dart out into the road, giving you minimal time to avoid hitting them. When you’re driving through a more rural area or one with lots of trees, drive a little slower than normal. This gives you more time to brake and prevent hitting the deer.
Use extra caution in the dark.
Deer tend to come out more when it’s dark outside. If you’re driving at night or in the early hours of the morning, be on the lookout for deer along the side of the road. If there are no other cars around, use your high beams to give you extra visibility. The further away you can spot a deer, the more time you have to brake.
Expect more than one.
If you see a deer on the side of the road and slow down to let it cross, don’t assume there’s only one. Deer travel in groups, so when you see one of them, look for others. If you don’t see any more, drive slowly past the area just to be safe.
When deer suddenly run out into the road, it can be tempting to swerve into another lane to avoid hitting it. However, this could lead you to hit another vehicle or run off the road. Instead, stay in your lane and slow down.
Keep windshield and headlights clean.
You need to have clean, bright headlights when driving in the dark, especially in a rural or wooded area. One of the key parts of avoiding deer collisions is to see them enough in advance for you to slow down, so having a clean windshield is also important.
Be sure to note deer crossing signs as well, as these serve as a reminder to drive with caution through the area. If you do have a run-in with a deer that results in auto body damage, bring your vehicle to Crossroads Collision for an inspection and repair estimate.