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 


Anonymous said...

Great info and tips! Collisions with moose/elk up here in Finland can be very dangerous, because they are so tall and top-heavy (they end up smashing in the windshield/windscreen). Again, thanks for spreading this information and awareness!

Hippo said...

Blatant advertising, are you going commercial?

I contacted the company you recommend and they asked where I lived. I told them, Angola. They said they would not provide cover for inmates of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

As an experienced biker living in Germany at the time I can tell you we tried not to think about a deer strike because, especially if you were scraping the pegs in a curve, there would be ferk all you could do except close your eyes.

I was overtaking a big rig on a German Autobahn at night when the truck, at about 70 miles an hour, hit a deer just as I was alongside the cab doing about 130 miles an hour. Talk about a red mist! I was lucky to stay on and rode back the wrong way along the hard shoulder to see if the trucker was OK. He was but the damage to the truck was bloody awesome. I never got the hot parts of my 'bike cleaned of roasted giblets, in the end having to fit new radiators etc and my leathers had to go to a professional cleaner to get rid of the stink.

Sobering for me was thinking about what might have happened had the agile deer made it past the front of the truck and into my lane, the fast lane. Obviously, obscured by the big rig as it was, I wouldn't have seen it coming.

In UK, the biggest risk to us bikers was Volvo drivers, an all year round hazard. Can you get a special insurance to cover Volvo strikes?

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Weekend Woodsman

Ah the famous 'Elk Test' that's taken so many scalps, famously the Merc A class .

Here as the Roe get more abundant the numbers are up every year


The Suburban Bushwacker said...


You only get 'lovely people status if you flash up some swag or cash. "one of the good guys" if we've met.

I'm heartened to hear my customers are taking their commitment to my readers so seriously.

On a sadder note, a chap I met in Upstate New York, later died whilst riding his harley one evening, hit an Angus that had wandered into the road.

Volvo drivers! Dont get me started!!!!!


Hippo said...

So he was steaked out on the road eh? Nasty.

You never said anything about my kit review, the Swedish work boots and the Australian Light Horse gaiters. I could see you in them and yer bloody sombrero!

Chris Thompson said...

Here in the states I read that the deer is the deadliest animal in the country due to the fatal accidents they cause. Here is Connecticut it seems they can't hunt them fast enough.

Anonymous said...

How neglectful of you--no mention in this post of impromtu deer butchering to save what meat you can from the roadkill! I knew a guy once--a rather overly-urbanized fellow, that went deer hunting with zero luck--during the hunt, that is. Hit a deer with his car going home! What did he do? Threw it in the back, and bragged to all his pals about what a nimrod he was!....L.B.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


I would think that was true, especially on the eastern seaboard. On Martha's vineyard they extend "deer week' year, but not enough people hunt so its deer central every there.


The Suburban Bushwacker said...


Not neglected, saved, for another post


Anonymous said...


umesh said...

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Jacob Bastomski said...

These Tips are really helpful in preventing deer from accident.