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Avoiding Collisions with Deer
                                                                CARS AND DEER

  • Problem intensifies from October through December (the breeding season) when there is a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population.
  • There's great debate about deer "whistles" for your car that repel deer.  Don't develop a false confidence that you will avoid accidents if you have one.
  • Deer often move in groups. If you see one, there are likely more in the vicinity. They tend to move in single file.
  • When driving at night, use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
  • Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
  • Honk your horn when you see a deer near the road: it should startle the deer away from the road, as well as any deer behind the one you see.
  • Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane.  The most dangerous accidents occur when people try to avoid the deer and steer into oncoming traffic.  If an accident is unavoidable, remember that a deer typically weighs less than 200 pounds; another car will weigh at least 3,000 pounds. Your chances are a lot better if you hit the deer.
  • If you hit a deer, pull well off the road and turn on your emergency flashers.
  • Even if you are uninjured and your car is drivable, notify the police if the animal remains in the road. Don't try to remove a deer from the road unless you are sure that it is dead. An injured deer can thrash its hooves and severely injure you.
  • Report the incident to your insurer. Typically damage is covered by the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.

Advice was drawn from a number of sources, including:

Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York