Point of view: It’s 10:30 pm, you’re driving back home two hours from a football game. It’s dark, it’s cold, and you’re driving on a two-lane road with cornfields on both sides of you. Out of nowhere, you spot a deer on the left side of the road, grazing in the grass. You’re smart, so you slow down as you know deer tend to travel in packs. The car is creeping along, no more than 10 miles per hour. As you get closer, you see a deer slowly emerging out of the cornfield on your right. You slow down even more. As you start to snail past the deer, one staring you dead in the eyes through the passenger side window, it starts to dart straight towards you. You scream “Please don’t hit my car!” over and over as you keep driving, thankfully not hitting the deer.
That was me… A month ago, after a long day of work, school, and then driving to a football game. Although my heart was beating out of my chest for 20 minutes and I had to pull over to think straight, my car was still intact. With hunting season beginning, deer are everywhere. It’s getting darker earlier and deer love to act like they own the road. They get fully mesmerized by our headlights, kind of like how Aunt Susie gets with the apple pie every Thanksgiving, even though she swears she’s on a diet. While we don’t want to, it’s important to remember to share the road, even for deer.
That’s why we’ve accumulated some safety tips on how best to stay clear of a nice deer-sized dent in your car.
#1: Be extra cautious while driving around dusk and at night
Deer love to roam around dusk and during the night. This makes it extra difficult to spot deer while driving. Always be on the lookout for deer up ahead and turn your brights on whenever there isn’t a car in front of you.
#2: Be on the lookout for deer-crossing signs
Deer-crossing zones are usually near forested areas, but they can wander to suburban neighborhoods if they are desperate for food. Always stay alert, but more so around deer-crossing areas.
#3: Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer
While you may avoid the deer, you’re more likely to go off the road or into another vehicle. Your best option when spotting a deer is to slow down and drive straight.
#4: Review your auto insurance policy
Hitting an object or an animal that causes damage to your car may not be covered. Make sure you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance to avoid paying completely out of pocket for damages caused by a big ole buck.
Stay safe this fall and make sure to share the road with our fellow wildlife.
Oh, and read this to your grandma who may still not know what the internet is.