Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Deer Collision - What Next

It's that time again, on both sides of the pond as the weather cools the deer become more mobile, extending their wanderings in search of extra calories, and the chance to pass on their genes. Sadly for many of them their end will not be at the swift unseen hand of the hunter, but in collision with a car or truck.

  • Do take note of deer warning signs, by driving with caution at or below the posted speed limit. Such signs really are positioned only where animal crossings are likely. 
  • Peaks in deer related traffic collisions occur October through December, followed by May. Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight followed by the hours shortly before and after sunrise. 
  • Be aware that further deer may well cross after the ones you have noticed . 
  • After dark, do use full-beams when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater driver reaction time. BUT, when a deer or other animal is noted on the road, dim your headlights as animals startled by the beam may ‘freeze’ rather than leaving the road. 
  • Don't overswerve to avoid hitting a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch could be even worse. An exception here may be motorcyclists, who are at particular risk when in direct collisions with animals. 
  • Only break sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to a stop as far in front of the animals as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic.

If the worst does happen, or you are first-to-the-scene when it's happened to someone else, here's the drill.
  • First of all, stay calm.
  • Avoid contact with the deer, its hooves or antlers.
  • Call the emergency services or ask another driver to do so.
  • Set up road flares [or warning triangles] if you have them in your emergency kit.
  • Contact your insurance policy provider.
In the USA not all insurance policys cover Deer Collision so it maybe a good idea to check with the lovely people at comprehensiveinsurancequotes.com to see if its worth getting cover in your state.

For a more detailed look at the issue in the UK see the excellent Deercollisions.co.uk

More soon

PS There's more read Deer Crossing Donna