It’s almost sundown. You’re on your way home and find yourself along that nice stretch of road where houses are few and the woods thicken.
It’s early November. Pumpkins multiply along roadside stands, leaves float noiselessly to the forest floor, and deer munch on green, moist grass near the edge of the road. Almost sends a shiver up your spine…one day, that deer’s going to jump; I hope you’re not there.
Insurance companies estimate that an average collision with a deer will set you back a cool grand or two. (The insurance company helps pay for the damage if you buy “Comprehensive” coverage). Even worse, in a recent 15 year time period, 56 of your fellow Palmetto State residents lost their lives due to Deer-Vehicle Collisions. This October-November time of year is mating/hunting season and the animals may not follow normal patterns.
So, read closely, my friend, take the following actions and maybe save a (deer) life.
- If an animal crosses safely in front of you, be wary of its reversing course. Sometime deer just have to go back and find mama.
- If you see one, watch for others. Anticipate a second deer because they move in numbers.
- If you see two glowing red dots at a tree line, chances are good that you see a deer’s eyes reflecting light from your headlights. Slow down and watch for movement.
- Be conscious of how fellow drivers are reacting to the sight of deer. Other drivers may swerve, stop short, or speed up (all dangerous moves).
- “The headlights of your vehicle will freeze many animals such as deer. As a result, they will stand still in the middle of your lane until it is too late to avoid hitting them. If they do stand still , honk your horn and flash your high beams. This action may break their trance and allow the animal to escape”… advice from The Travelers Insurance Company.
- And, lastly, this most important counsel, also from the Travelers, “As a driver, your first responsibility is to pedestrians, passengers, and other vehicles. Any action taken should not put any pedestrians, passengers, other vehicles or yourself at risk. Sudden uncontrolled panic stops, changing a lane or crossing a solid line on the road is not recommended. At all times during the animal and vehicle incident, the driver must be in control of the vehicle”.
Drive between the deer and read between these lines.