Deer-Hunting season is just around the corner, and some early hunting has already begun. With the hunters out in force you can expect to see more wildlife on the roads. But is there anything you can do to not hit a deer this season?
Regular firearm season for deer hunting may not start until November 15, but archers and other early season hunters are already bagging trophies. If you are a driver in rural Michigan, you know that hunting season means more deer in the headlights and more car-on-deer crashes. Last year, Michigan had 49,205 motor vehicle-deer crashes. That’s 17% of all deer-related crashes in the nation.
But what can you do to avoid hitting a deer if you live in an area with a high population?
1. Turn Your Lights on Earlier
Deer like to travel around dusk (or sunset), which is just when it gets harder for our human eyes to distinguish shapes and colors. Turn your headlights on earlier to get a clearer view of the road ahead and avoid crashes.
2. Watch for Herds
If you see one deer, even safely across the road, stay on high alert. Deer often travel in herds, so where there’s one there could be more.
3. Steer Clear of the Shoulder
Deer usually come onto the roadway across the grassy section next to the shoulder of the road. By steering clear of the shoulder, and even avoiding the right lane when legal, you give yourself longer to react should one run out in front of you.
4. Watch for Signs
Wherever deer are known to roam, there should be yellow warning signs. By paying attention to them you will know where the deer will most likely appear and will be better able to react.
5. Honk Your Horn
Even if you have a deer whistle or other repellent device, you may still need to take more aggressive action to scare away a deer in the roadway. One long blast of the horn may do the trick. Just be sure not to swerve while you’re doing it. You could hit another car or swerve right into the startled creature.
Some deer accidents are unavoidable, and sometimes you’re better off not trying to dodge the deer. The good news is that No-Fault insurance covers one-car accidents including crashes with animals. Still, the fastest way to recover from a crash with a deer is not to have one, so slow down, keep your eyes open, and do your best not to hit a deer this hunting season.
David Christensen is an expert in no-fault auto insurance cases, including one-car and animal-related accidents. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor-vehicle/deer crash, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation today.