Tips for Avoiding Vehicle Crashes with Deer

By: Bill DiNicola
By: Bill DiNicola

In North Carolina there were over 15-thousand collisions involving deer and motor-vehicles in 2005. The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center has the following tips to lower your chances of having a crash with a deer.

- Slow down
In areas with a large deer population, or where there are deer warning signs, drivers should reduce their speed. For a complete list of county by county crashes in 2005 click on the link below

-Always wear your seat belt.
It's your best protection from injuries in the event of a crash.

- Watch for eyes reflecting in your headlights.
Try to look far down the road and scan the roadsides, especially when driving through field edges, heavily wooded areas, or posted deer crossing areas. The sooner you see a deer on or approaching a road, the better your chances of avoiding a crash.

- Remember that deer travel in herds.
If you see one deer cross the road in front of you, don't assume that all is clear. Deer herds can be fairly large, and the animals often move one right behind the other.

- Do not place confidence in "deer whistles" or other "ultra-sonic" devices that claim to prevent deer collisions.

-Maintain control of your vehicle.
It is important that you not lose control of your vehicle or veer into the path of an oncoming vehicle to avoid contact with an animal. Loss of control usually results in a more serious crash.


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