Watch For Deer – Winter Driving Tips
With the number of deer seen on the side of the highway this time of year, it’s getting hard to believe that hunters have to work that hard to find them in the woods. But in the Midwest, October through December is when deer become more active and visible on highways and roadways. And it is during this time that automobile collisions with deer begin to significantly increase. In Michigan alone, the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition reported 45,690 deer versus motor vehicle crashes in 2014.
When a deer leaps in front of your vehicle, there’s often little that you can do to prevent it. However, the automobile accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham point out that there are a few tips that may minimize the risks of a dangerous and costly collision:
- Be especially watchful at dusk and dawn when deer are more active and may be feeding on grass along the road. As the sun sets, deer become harder to see and headlights can disorient them and cause them to run in front of, or into, your vehicle.
- Pay attention to “deer crossing” signs. The signs indicate a significant rate and pattern of accidents in that location over time. Be especially watchful in areas near woods, water or near newly installed game fences as well.
- If you see one deer, there are probably more nearby as they typically travel in single file groups. If one deer crosses, slow down and anticipate another.
- Drive slower at night, giving yourself time to see a deer in your headlights. Use high beams for greater visibility whenever it’s safe to do so. You can also lower the brightness of your dashboard lights to make it easier to see the road.
- Always wear a seatbelt. Most fatalities in collisions with deer are the result of people not wearing a seatbelt.