Deer in the Headlights
What you can do to avoid a collision
FALL WEATHER MEANS more deer accidents in many parts of the country, where October marks the start of mating season.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates there are about 1.5 million auto-deer collisions every year, resulting in more than $1.5 billion in damages nationwide.
Most of these accidents happen around dawn or dusk, owing to the fact that deer are nocturnal. “You want to keep an eye out on the edges of the road, median strips and grassy areas,” says Dick Braun, wildlife coordinator director at the Daniel Boone National Forest in Winchester, Ky. “Other places to keep a heads up are around those concrete barriers on the interstate,” he says.
“If the deer gets out on the highway and they can’t get across, now they are really scared, and may try to run down the lane instead of going back.”
Hunting season can also scare up extra deer, and it’s at this time they are extra frightened and skittish. Just be as cautious as possible, acknowledge warning signs and keep an extra eye out for the animals.
As for those devices you can buy that whistle to scare deer off? “Don’t waste your money,” Braun says.