For the next three to four weeks whitetail deer will engage in a yearly ritual called the rut. Bucks will be chasing does and the does will be recklessly bounding in all directions to escape. During this time of year deer tend lose their sense of awareness, and as a driver; you need to be vigilant when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
There are more than 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions each year in the United States, according to the Insurance Information Institute Web site. These deer-vehicle collisions can cause death or serious injury, and cost approximately $3.6 billion in vehicle damages. In 2010, there were 3,118 deer-vehicle collisions in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky State Police Web site. Prepare yourself know how to prevent and how to react.
Drivers must understand that deer-vehicle collisions do not just occur on country or side roads. Deer will cross large highways, through cities and towns, you must be aware of them at all times, no matter where you are on the road.
Deer are most active during hours just before and just after sunrise, and hours just before and just after dusk. If you are in a vehicle during these hours you need to be on full alert. Be ready for the unexpected.
One way to avoid a deer-vehicle collision is to pay attention to the sides of the road. These accidents happen in mere seconds and by watching the sides of the road you may be able to see the deer coming in enough time to avoid the encounter.
Remember that deer normally travel in small groups, if one deer crosses the road ahead don’t drop your guard, another one will likely follow. Slow down and watch for others in the direction that the first deer came from. Expect another deer even if you don’t see it.
If you see deer ahead of you don’t expect them to turn and run the other way. You can’t predict what the deer is going to do. Bright lights, loud noises and fast cars zooming past them can cause confusion and they may attempt to run across the road.
If a deer is in your lane or on your side of the road brake hard and stay in your lane. This is the most dangerous time for drivers. You have to make split second decisions, it is vital that you stay in your lane because if you decide to swerve you could hit and injure other people. Swerving hard to miss the deer can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
In the occurrence of a deer-vehicle collision do not go near the animal, especially if it is wounded. If the deer is in the middle of the road you should call the police right away, according to the Insurance Information Institute’s Web site.
Bucks are on the prowl for does right now and they will cross anywhere to get to a doe in heat. The chasing period of the rut is starting and this is the most dangerous time for motorists and deer when it comes to being on the road at the same time. Check out the Insurance Information Institute’s Web site for more information on deer-vehicle collisions.