According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 1.5 million collisions happen between vehicles and deer each year in the U.S., resulting in about 150 fatalities and more than $1 billion in property damage.
The peak season for vehicle/deer accidents is early October through December.
How can you stay safe?
- Deer are more active at dusk and dawn, so be on the lookout during those times, in particular, though deer can be active throughout the day and night.
- Always wear seat belts, and drive at the appropriate speed limit for the road. Don’t forget to factor in rainy or icy road conditions to allow for maximum stopping distance.
- Drive with extreme caution in areas where deer crossing signs are posted.
- If you see one deer on a road or highway, expect that there will be more.
- Remain focused on the road and avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- If you do come across a deer in the road, honk your horn to scare the animal.
- Use your high-beam headlights when there are no oncoming cars. Deer are hard to see early in the morning and at dusk, and driving with high-beam lights on will illuminate the eyes of the deer to allow for maximum response time.
- Do not rely on products such as deer whistles as they are not proven effective.
- Report any deer-vehicle collisions to local authorities and your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Remember: Deer are unpredictable, especially when frightened.