As the weather begins to cool down and the threat of tornados and hailstorms dissipates, you may think you can finally breath easy for a bit…well, unless you have Covid (eck!). However, the fact is fall still holds the potential for hail and tornados, Covid is apparently never going away in some form, and lastly, it is deer rut season once again upon, which means an increased risk of deer hits!
It is true as if you needed one more thing to deal with in 2021, right? Of course, rut season for deer has been happening every year between late October and early February for…well, forever. Nevertheless, those deer wreak havoc to vehicles every year with wild abandonment and do not even have the common decency to carry liability insurance to cover the damage they cause! According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, last year 836 crashes in Oklahoma alone were caused by deer. While only two of those crashes were deadly, there were twenty-one people who were seriously injured in those accidents. It is for this reason, we want to remind you of some ways you can circumvent being in a deer-related crash (deer hit), or at least lower your risk of injury if you do.
6 Things to do to circumvent having a deer hit:
- Always wear your seat belt – While this will not prevent you from being in a deer-related crash, it will help you mitigate potential damages to you and your passengers if you do get in a wreck. Plus, it’s the law.
- Be fully awake and completely aware – Seriously, this state is one you should always be in when you are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. You want to be aware of your surroundings, not distracted by anything, while you drive. Additionally, driving drowsy is nearly as bad as drunk driving (according to the statistics anyway). Keep your eyes on the road but sweeping back and forth between both sides of the road as well, paying careful attention to watch for deer who tend to “pop-out” of wooded areas rather quickly.
- Blow your deer whistles – While we do not have a good data source to determine how many deer hits may have been avoided by a good whistle, many people claim it works great! Some insurance agents even gift their clients with deer whistles. The whistles use ultra-sonic sound waves that cannot be heard by humans that alert the deer up to a quarter of a mile away. While we cannot confirm how well they work, they are very low cost and at least worth a try.
- Deer love dawn and dusk – While you may not always be able to avoid being on the road during dawn or dusk times, you should pay extra attention while driving during these times. This seems to be when deer are the most active. If you see a deer close to the road, slow down so as not to spook them and cause them to run right out into the road and your driving path.
- Clear working headlights are a must – The better you can see, the easier it will be to watch out for deer who may jump into your path. Be sure to keep your headlights clean to optimize the light and improve your visibility on the road. Your high beams (or “bright lights”) should help you keep a better eye on the ditches as you drive. are great for getting a closer look into the ditches when driving.
- Where there is one, there is usually more – It is not unusual to see several deer together. Usually, when one deer leaps out into the road it is followed by one or more deer behind it. For this reason, if you see one deer near the road slow down and be extra cautious.
During rut season, the deer are too busy frolicking and chasing each other around to notice you or your vehicle. They are so focused on chasing down a potential mate that they tend to run into the side of vehicles just as easily as out in front of them. No matter how vigilant you are, it is still possible that you may end up hitting a deer (or getting hit by a deer). For this reason, you may want to read our post from last year that talked about the best way to hit the unavoidable deer and what to do after you have collided with a wild animal.
Of course, if you do find yourself in a deer hit situation and in need of comprehensive collision repair, you can trust that the auto body wizards (body technicians) at OKC Auto Works have you covered! They can work their magic to get your car repaired and back on the road quickly! (405) 634-8200.