As we get deeper into fall, more and more deer are going to be venturing out into the streets. A lot of damage can be done to both the deer and your car if you’re not careful, so we wanted to make sure you were prepared for any potential deer crossings while you’re on the road. Our goal here at Steve Landers Collision & Glass is to help you avoid the collision before it happens, so keep reading for some pro tips on how to stay safe and protect your vehicle from damage.
- Be Defensive. Any time you’re driving anywhere, it’s a good idea to be defensive and stay aware of what’s going on around you at all times. This can help you avoid car accidents in general, but especially when it comes to deer—because the deer don’t know the rules of the road, and they’re liable to run out in front of you without any notice. This is especially true at dusk and dawn!
- Drive slowly. Especially when you’re driving at night out in the country, on backroads, or just on roads surrounded by a lot of trees; it’s okay to drive a little slower than usual! When you’re in a spot that you know deer are more likely to pop up, it’s not worth the risk of not being able to stop in time. Oh, and wear your seatbelt!
- Watch for the stragglers. Deer almost always travel in groups. If you see one deer cross the road in front of you and you think you’re suddenly out of the woods (see what we did there?), you’re probably going to have a bad time. More will come, so always wait a little longer and make sure they’re not going to dart out at the last second.
- Watch for signs. There are several ways you can tell if you’re more likely to see deer in a given area, but the most obvious one is the road signs. Keep an eye out for the yellow diamond-shaped signs with deer on them. If you see one of those, you know you’re in a high-traffic area for deer, and you can be better prepared.
- Use your brights. If it’s dark out and you’re driving down a road with no other traffic to be seen, it might be a good idea to use those high beams! Be sure to turn them off if another car approaches, but when it’s just you, they can be a huge help in avoiding a potentially damaging situation.
- Do not swerve. We know, it’s tempting. It seems like the obvious thing to do when you’re about to collide head-on with a deer, but trust us—don’t do it. When you swerve, you risk losing control of your vehicle and making the situation much worse for yourself. Plus, you could end up swerving into another member of the pack or colliding with the same deer that’s changed course. If a deer does dart out in front of you, put on your brakes calmly and firmly. This is your best bet to stay safe and minimize damage.
Hopefully these tips can help you be a little more prepared for the possibility of deer showing up on the road. Of course, sometimes things still happen no matter how prepared we are. In the event that you do collide with a deer, you should pull your car over to a safe place on the side of the road and turn on your hazards. Avoid direct contact with the animal—deer are unpredictable normally, but when they’re injured you really can’t know what to expect. You could get kicked in the face. Take photos of the scene and call the police right away. Do not attempt to drive your vehicle right away. Once you are safe and your car has been moved, contact us here at Steve Landers Collision & Glass. We hope we never have to see customers for things like this, but when we do, we’ll fix you up right and get you back on the road again.