It’s that time of year again for drivers to be aware of deer darting into and crossing the roadways.
Last year in the state of Indiana there were over 15,000 accidents involving deer. Out of those accidents there were 366 with injuries and two fatalities.
The Indiana State Police would like to pass along a few safety tips to help you avoid a possible collision with a deer this year.
- Be cautious while driving during dusk or dawn hours
Deer are most active at dawn and dusk, but can appear at any time, especially during the mating season, which is in full swing from October through December. Please remember though that deer can appear at any time. Ensure that you and your passengers are wearing seat belts at all times, in case you need to make a sudden stop.
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs
Be alert and observe your surroundings for any signs of deer while on the road. Deer are abundant in forested areas, so it’s important to drive cautiously even if you’re no longer in a deer-crossing zone.
- Stay alert if you spot a deer
Deer tend to travel in packs so if you see one deer, slow down and proceed with caution, be prepared for more to follow. If you see a deer, slow down, tap your brakes to warn others, or flash your lights and sound your horn to warn other motorists. It will give everyone an opportunity to slow down.
- Take precautions when driving at night
If there is no oncoming traffic, turn on your bright lights. You’ll not only be able to see clearer, but you’ll have a greater chance of spotting a deer from a distance and allow you to react accordingly.
- Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer
Do not swerve to avoid a deer collision. By swerving you put yourself at risk for a worse collision with another motorist or running off the roadway. Brake firmly and stay in your lane.
- Report the deer-vehicle collision
If you happen to get involved in an accident, contact local authorities to report it so you can get an accident report for your insurance company.
Remember deer are unpredictable and could dart into traffic at any time, so be alert at all times!