The sun is setting earlier and a chill is in the evening air. . . Are you looking out for ghosts and goblins? Unfortunately, you are more likely to see herds of deer while driving during this time of year. October and November are the peak of deer mating season; a time when deer are much more active than other months. Deer are more active during low-light hours between 5:00 pm and 7:00 am. In fact, 50% of deer collisions take place between 5:00 pm and midnight. According to the Ohio Department of Safety, there were 20,996 deer strikes in 2012. Don’t be one of them this year!
Here is what you should do if you see a deer near the road:
• Slow down, stay alert & look out for other deer that may folllow or be chased into the road. Deer usually travel in groups and are unpredictable.
• When possible, turn on your high-beam lights. This will help you to see & may even scare deer away from the road.
• Do NOT swerve! If a deer has crossed your path and the collision is unavoidable, maintain control of your car. Continue moving in the direction you were going and do not aggressively slam on the brakes. By not braking, the deer will pass under your vehicle instead of over or through the windshield. You are safer with the animal passing under your car.
• Again, do not swerve – swerving puts you and others in danger of hitting oncoming vehicles, trees, poles, unpredictable terrain and more.
• Of course, be prepared and protect yourself. Wear a seatbelt, exercise caution and do not drive if you have been drinking. Avoid the distractions of cell phones, mobile devices, radios and a GPS. By being aware of your surroundings, you can increase your reaction time in the event a deer crosses your path.
• By performing regular maintenance on your vehicle, you can ensure your vehicle will react quickly when you need it. Ask your automotive service center to check your tires, brakes, lights, heater & defroster. These systems help you to see clearly through your windshield and to stop safely on a dime.