Ask a Trooper: Don't veer for deer!
Q: How about an article on hitting a deer and what to do? Deer season is coming up.
A: Great timing! We normally talk about this every year about this time.
Drivers need to be aware that there are many more deer on the run during the late summer and fall months, resulting in many more animals being hit. Slow down when you get to an area with trees on either or both sides of the road, and watch for deer! We are seeing some bear getting hit now, too.
When you see a deer, slow down even more, but never "veer for deer". We want to avoid head-on and rollover crashes caused be drivers trying to avoid deer. It is best to get your speed down as far as possible and just hit the deer. If you see the deer up ahead, try honking your horn; the deer will usually clear the road.
Always watch for more deer, too. Try not to slam on your brakes, especially in traffic. Deer seem to react better to sudden noises, rather than loud or ongoing steady noises, which is one reason why deer whistles are not all that effective.
Some deer are on a "hot run" and seem to come out of no-where. These are the ones that are the most difficult to avoid, and most of the time it seems we can't. You can still be better protected by always wearing a seat belt, driving attentively, giving proper reaction to a situation, and especially watching for deer. Thanks for asking.