Do you know how to react if a deer steps in front of your vehicle? Although the footage is graphic, this woman did everything right.
Before watching the video, ask yourself this question: What would you do if a deer was to suddenly appear in your lane of traffic? You have a number of choices, including breaking hard, steering left or right to avoid the collision, or simply drive straight and right through? Made your choice? Now watch the video.
Warning: graphic content and language.
If you watch closely, “Kyle” spots the lit eyes of a single deer standing on the right shoulder, almost at the exact time the blood and body of another deer comes into view. From this point (and using this example) the driver has less than four seconds to make a life-or-death decision.
Did you happen to notice the oncoming vehicle? Turn left to avoid the collision (which many drivers would do to avoid the perceived danger on the right) would have resulted in a horrific head-on accident. Turn right, as Kyle shouted three times, means the car would have left the road at a high rate of speed, quite possibly colliding with a tree, rock face, or the vehicle flipping over. So what about breaking hard? We can’t tell from this video, but if a vehicle is following closely behind, a rear-end collision (which could be lethal for the driver behind) would have been a real possibility. And in this case, breaking hard would have still meant a collision with the trio of deer.
The driver in this video did everything right. She drove through the collision. And although unfortunate for the deer involved, she quite possibly saved the life of her and her passenger.
In the case of my experience, it happened so fast that my foot never even hit the brakes. Instead, I maintained control and drove straight through, slowing down gradually after the impact. Luckily, I came out of it unscathed – unfortunately, the whitetail buck didn’t, and the damage to my truck was pegged at $10,000.
Here’s some words of advice from Geico on deer and vehicle collisions:
- Never swerve to avoid a deer in the road. Swerving can confuse the deer on where to run. Swerving can also cause a head-on collision with oncoming vehicles, take you off the roadway into a tree or a ditch, and greatly increase the chances of serious injuries.
- Deer are unpredictable creatures, and one that is calmly standing by the side of the road may suddenly leap into the roadway without warning. Slowing down when you spot a deer is the best way to avoid a collision. However, if one does move into your path, maintain control and do your best to brake and give the deer time to get out of your way.
- Don’t rely on hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off deer. These have not been proven to work.
- If you do collide with a deer (or large animal), try to let off the brakes at the moment of impact. Braking through the impact can cause the hood of your vehicle to dip down, which can propel the animal through the windshield.
- Call emergency services if injuries are involved, or the local police if no one is injured, but damage has been caused to your property or someone else’s.
- Never touch an animal that is in the roadway. Report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Be prepared and educated on deer and vehicle collisions. Having the knowledge on what to do in the case one arises, could very well save your life.