As I was driving home the other night I glanced at the radio and back to the road. There he was: a deer in the headlights. I gently placed my foot on the break pedal as he stepped off to the side of the road. My heart was pounding, and I don’t think my eyes left the road the rest of the way home.
Did you know South Carolina ranks 18th in overall likelihood of a vehicle-deer collision in comparison to the other states? State Farm Insurance data shows November is the month during which deer-vehicle encounters are most likely to occur. In fact, more than 18 percent of all such mishaps take place during this month. Deer-vehicle collisions are three times more likely to occur on a day in November than they are on any day between February 1st and August 31st. October is the second most likely month for a crash involving a deer and a vehicle. December is third.
Here are tips from the Insurance Information Institute on how to reduce the odds of a deer-vehicle confrontation:
- Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
- Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.
- Remember deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
- Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
- If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Don’t rely on car-mounted deer whistles.
Keep your eyes on the road and slow down. That’s the best advice I was given about driving through areas where deer are likely to be on the move. Not only will it reduce your chance of injuring or killing one of these beautiful animals, it might save your life as well.