Love is in the air. Not for people, but for deer. While people tend to equate springtime with a rebirth of virility, deer favor November for getting “in the mood.” And while this may fill you with warm fuzzy images of Bambi finding a girlfriend, you would be wise to concentrate a little harder on the road ahead. For while November may be mating season, it’s also the most dangerous month for deer-vehicle collisions.
According to State Farm Insurance, approximately 18 percent of all such collisions occur in November, with October and December coming in second and third, respectively. Rural New York and Pennsylvania are two states that show a significant increase in accidents – in fact, 1 out of 73 drivers in Pennsylvania are involved in deer-on-vehicle collisions.
It’s never a good feeling to run over an animal with your car. Often times, it’s just circumstantial and there isn’t much a driver could have done to avoid the collision, but a deer can damage your car a lot more than a squirrel can. Damage to the average car can vary from $300 to upwards of $10,000.
So, how can you avoid thousands of dollars of damage to your car, while at the same time keeping from becoming an obstacle in some deer romance? It’s not very difficult. Just adhere to the following tips:
- Be extra cautious from sunset to sunrise. Like people, deer tend to court at night.
- If there’s a deer-crossing zone, obviously be on the lookout.
- Make sure you’re moving slow enough to be able to stop in the event of a deer in the road. Factor in rainy or icy road conditions, too.
- If you do come across a deer-in-headlights cliché, give your horn a good long beep.
- Sadly, if a collision is imminent, your best bet is to not swerve. Brake firmly, and try to hit the deer as slowly as possible. This sounds horrible, but if you swerve, you could go off the road, or hit another car, or worst of all: The deer could also swerve, last-minute style, and jump right into your now-swerved car.
Love makes us all do crazy things, right? DO be a good, attentive driver, and keep your eyes peeled for all those bucks and does with twinkles in their eyes. After all, defensive driving isn’t reserved solely for other cars on the road. And they’d do the same for you.