Avoid Hitting a Deer
At Harbin Auto, our relationship to deer is pretty well-documented. We sell many trucks with the expressed purpose of carrying hunters, and we obviously hold our famous Big Buck Contest every year. So, to be sure, we are used to dealing with deer. However, one area that even gives us a little bit of trepidation is when deer saunter onto the road, putting both themselves and us at risk. So how do you avoid hitting a deer when this happens? Even though there are no sure-fire ways to avoid a deer, these tips will help.
Know how deer act. A deer operates using instinct, which should be obvious to anyone who’s ever seen one dart in every direction trying to flee. It just goes where its brain tells it to. Accordingly, a deer is most active when its instincts tell it to be active: during mating season (from September to December), during the hours closest to dawn and dusk. They also seek areas that have ample shelter, edible foliage and nearby ponds and streams to drink from. They also rarely travel alone, so if you see one deer, there are usually others in the area.
Keep your eyes fresh and moving. During the hours surrounding dusk, it’s frequently difficult to see the deer lurking in the ditches and shadows. Keep your eyes scanning the periphery of the road, looking for the two reflective dots that signal the deer’s reflective eyes. And, remember, he probably isn’t alone.
Use your lights to your advantage. When you’re on a remote country road, use your high beams whenever possible. You’ll be able to see activity in the ditches more easily, and be able to see further into the distance. Also, when you’ve happened upon some deer, flicker your lights at oncoming traffic to alert them that there is danger ahead; they’ll usually return the favor.
Stay cool. Sometimes, when you are getting closer to a deer, hitting it is unavoidable. If this is the case, don’t swerve or panic. Simply apply the brakes, honk the horn if possible, and stay in your lane. If you need to choose between hitting the deer or heading into the ditch or oncoming traffic, the deer gets it 10 times out of 10.
We’re heading into the months when deer are going to be everywhere, even if we’ll do our part to help keep their numbers in check, if you catch our meaning. We hope that you have safe travels in the months ahead, and if you end up hitting one and damaging your vehicle, pay us a visit at our service department at Harbin Automotive!