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October Safety Slogan and Focus – Deer Safety

September 30th, 2014

“It’s the time of the year to steer clear of deer.”

deer_crossing

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, large animal-vehicle collisions result in and average of 187 fatalities in recent years.  Therefore, here are some key things to know so you can avoid becoming part of this statistic. First, dawn and dusk are the times you are most likely to encounter deer along the side of the road. Deer breeding season runs October through early January, so be on the lookout for deer moving across the roads. Deer almost never travel alone as they are known as pack animals. So, if you see one, know another may be close behind.

Here key things to remember to both prevent and avoid a collision with a deer:

1) Slow down and obey speed limit signs. The slower your speed, the more brake time you allow yourself to avoid collision.

2) Watch for the shine of eyes on the roadside and immediately begin to brake.

3) Counteract the “Deer in the Headlights.” Deer are attracted to steady, bright lights, thus the origin of the phrase. Experts suggest slowing down and flashing your lights, honking your horn to encourage the deer to move off the roadway.

4) Never swerve to miss a deer. First, you may cause a collision with other vehicles or some other fixed object, such as a tree or  a ditch. Also, swerving can cause the deer confusion on where to run, resulting in a crash regardless.

5) Don’t rely on hood whistles or other devises designed to scare deer off the road. Proof does not support that these devices actually work.

Information courtesy of Dawn McCaslin.

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