November is known for bringing deer out into view on the road. In the U.S., deer are starting to appear more and more on the road. This is the deer mating season and they are out to look for any available doe to mate with. In their search, they may walk around our fields or cross the roadways. Due to the nature of the deer, drivers must be very careful if they don’t want to hit anything on their commute. Here are ways to stay safe on the road during the month of November and here is what to do if you ever hit a deer.
Notice Any Signs
Pay attention to any deer crossing signs. They were placed in that area for a reason and you should be on alert.
Know Deer Patterns
Deer are also crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. These are the times when predators are least likely going to be a threat. If you are driving at these times of the day, be extra cautious and drive defensively.
Watch Out For More
Deers travel in groups. If you ever see one on the side of the road, watch for more that could be nearby. Drive slowly and scan the road. You will need extra reaction time to anticipate any passing bucks.
Drive in the Center Lane
Stick to the center lane. Animals tend to stick to the sides of the road where there is more vegetation. Driving in the center lane gives you more time to react if one darts across the road.
Use Your High Beams
Any extra light can help you spot deer on the road. Use your high beams and continue to scan the road for darting animals.
Honk If You Need To
Use your horn if you are in a pinch and need a deer to get out of the way. Usually, one long honk will get the job done.
Know How To Handle the Worst
If you hit a deer, it is important to know how to handle it. Treat this like any other accident. Pullover and remain calm. Take some deep breaths, if you need them. Turn on your hazards. Check yourself and then any other passengers for any injuries. Call 911 if there are any.
Deer need experts who are used to and can anticipate any erratic behavior. Do not try to help the deer on your own. Instead, call a police officer or a wildlife rehabilitator. They will know exactly what to do when a deer gets hit. Check out this list of rehabilitators by state.
Inspect your vehicle and check to see if you will need any towing service. Next, document everything by taking your own pictures of the car, the deer, and any damage you or your passengers may have. After everything is done, report your incident to your insurance immediately so you won’t put it off for too long.