YouTube: Ricky Beats (A.T.)

Driver Hits 3 Deer in Intense, Split-Second Decision

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.

Having slammed into a wayward deer with my own truck many years ago, I speak from experience. Deer collisions are extremely unexpected and can happen in the blink of an eye. The following video, which was shot with a dash camera Jan. 13, shows a firsthand look at the dangers wildlife can pose.

What would you do if a deer was to suddenly appear in your lane of traffic? You have a number of choices, including braking hard, steering left or right to avoid the collision, or simply driving straight through.

Made your choice? Now watch the video.


If you watch closely, the passenger (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, the driver had less than four seconds to make a life-or-death decision.

Did you happen to notice the oncoming vehicle? Turning left to avoid the collision would've resulted in a horrific head-on accident. Turning right, as Kyle suggested in a series of shouts, would've taken the car off the road at a high rate of speed, quite possibly colliding with a tree or a rock face. Additionally, this option has the greatest chance of flipping the vehicle.

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've 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 herself and her passenger.

In my own 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, but the whitetail buck unfortunately did not. 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-vehicle collisions. Knowing what to do could very well save your life.

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