Keeping Safe While Driving During Deer Season
This time of year all across Eastern Ontario, a significant number of deer can be found on the highway. Unfortunately, deer-vehicle collisions have killed or seriously injured people all across the province in great numbers. According to the provincial government, most deer-vehicle accidents occur between dusk and dawn on straight stretches of road, especially in high-deer density areas marked with deer signs. However, even in areas with low deer density, deer can pose as a hazard to drivers so it’s important to always keep an eye out for deer while safely driving. The annual cost estimates for vehicle damages alone are more than $1 million annually.
10 tips to avoid a deer collision this winter
1. Reduce speed
This will greatly improve your chances of avoiding a deer-vehicle collision
2. Clear your headlights, windows, and windshield
By ensuring your vision is not obscured by snow or salt, you will be giving yourself the best chance of spotting a deer in time to slow down.
3. Listen to radio warnings
The radio will keep you informed of deer that have been spotted alongside the road and of weather conditions that may make it harder to see a deer on the road.
4. Scan both sides of the road
This is important to do so you can react quickly if a deer appears.
5. Avoid driving between dusk and dawn
This is when deer-vehicle collisions are most likely to occur, so mitigate your risks of getting injured by staying off the road after dusk.
6. At the first sign of a deer slow down
Deer are very unpredictable so it is important to be cautious and to reduce speed until you can safely pass them.
7. Wear a seatbelt
Seatbelts save lives!
8. Don’t drive while distracted
Friends, cellphones, and other distractions will keep your attention off of the road so it is important to make sure you reduce the number of distractions that are keeping you from paying attention to the road.
9. Keep vehicle in top mechanical condition
It is important to make sure you car is in good mechanical condition and have enough windshield fluid and that your brakes and headlights are both working properly, so you do not put yourself at risk of getting into a deer-vehicle accident.
10. Never drink and drive!
If you get behind the wheel after drinking, you are putting yourself and others in danger and your reaction time will be greatly reduced, which would have fatal consequences if there is a deer on the road.