Wisconsin drivers know that deer encounters increase in the fall. According to Consumer Reports, November has the most claims for deer collisions. The reasons stem from fall being deer mating season and the shortened days making it difficult for motorists to spot crossing deer.
See below for some safety tips to avoid crashing into deer this fall. You cannot always predict when a deer jumps out in from of you, but you can practice intelligent and defensive driving habits.
Slow down during busy times
Deer are most active during sunrise and sunset. Slow down during these times. You may want to speed home from work or rush during your morning commute, but it is not worth getting into a collision with a crossing animal.
Do not swerve
Your instinct might be to swerve and avoid a crossing deer. However, it is safer to brake, even if you still collide with the animal. Swerving puts other vehicles in danger and lowers your chance of surviving the accident. Remember, most people survive deer collisions, but running off the road or crashing into other cars is much more dangerous.
Watch for more
Deer travel in a herd. Once you see one deer on the roadside, assume there are more.
Honk your horn
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recommends you try to sound your horn and scare the deer away. Often, deer freeze in your headlights and refuse to move, but the sound of your horn might convince them to move.
Deer season is a dangerous time to drive. Pay attention and follow traffic laws to decrease the risk of a collision. Deer are unpredictable, but you have control of your safe driving practices.