Did you know that in the State of Arkansas drivers have a 1 in 97 chance of hitting a deer while driving on the road. Deer cause millions or dollars in accidents annually, with Arkansas being one of the states that offer a higher than average risk of such occurrences. This statistic seems especially scary when you consider much of the time it’s the deer who collides with you, not the other way around. Deer often jump right out in front of your vehicle, giving you little to no time to avoid an accident. It is for this reason, it is important to be extra vigilant and pay close attention to your surroundings while driving this deer rut season – especially at dawn and dusk times.
There have been many inventions over the years claiming to help reduce deer-vehicle collisions. Perhaps you’ve heard of deer fences? Certainly, you’ve seen the deer crossing signs and warning reflectors, too. Sadly, no solution is going to be 100% effective when it comes to the unpredictability of an animal. Deer whistles have shown to ability to keep deer from jumping into your path (or your vehicle), assuming you spot the deer first.
Deer whistles are mounted to the vehicle easily. The purpose of a deer whistle is to stun larger animals into avoiding a collision with your vehicle. It is air-activated and makes a sound that alerts large animals to the fact that a car is coming by. The premise behind the whistle is to alert the vehicle to presence of your car and to give the animal a chance to avoid the collision. Again, one cannot predict what the deer will do with all certainty, but the hope is that it will freeze on the side of the road once it hears the sound, allowing for the opportunity to the driver to pass it without incident.
Does it work? Well, the data suggests it may help, but it doesn’t always prevent. This is for many reasons; however, improper installation seems to be a common reason for the whistle not preventing a deer-collision. Additionally, some deer whistles simply aren’t loud enough to startle the deer appropriately. Still, installing a deer whistle may help mitigate potential deer-related damages.
Here are a few more things you can do to mitigate the risk of having a deer-collision:
- Drive more cautiously in areas you know have a higher deer population (wooded areas, in the country, places with posted ‘watch out for deer’ signs)
- Don’t drive distracted but instead give your complete attention to the road to allow for more reaction time
- Slow down anytime you see an animal on the side of the road
- If you see a deer has just crossed the road, slow down and pay extra attention as they usually do not travel alone and there could be more about to cross
- Be extra aware of your surrounding around dusk and dawn as these tend to be the times deer are out most often
- Do not swerve to miss a deer as you increase the chances of hitting a tree or another vehicle when you do.
While it is impossible to predict how animals will react, by being cautious and following these simple tips, you certainly can mitigate your changes of being involved in a deer-related accident. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact your insurance agent to ensure you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle and to be certain of your deductible amount associated with it. Make sure you can afford to pay your out-of-pocket costs (deductible) in the event you are in such an accident. While this won’t lessen the risks of you having an accident with a large animal, it can at least mitigate some potential risks of such an accident impacting the pocketbook beyond your means.
While a deer whistle may aid you in your attempts to avoid a collision with a deer, the reality is that driving defensively should extend to your interactions with animals. To truly be safe on the road, you must always be aware of your surroundings and attentive to any possible problems. Unfortunately, there is no fail-proof guarantee that will help you avoid accidents with large animals.
Steve Landers Collision & Glass proudly serves in the Central Arkansas are providing outstanding collision repairs. We’re prepared to provide you with exceptional service no matter what kind of damage your car has endured. Stop by or call our shop if you have any questions or needs we may be able to help you with. We look forward to serving you!