As fall is here now, the OPP are warning drivers to be on the lookout for deer. From now until December is the worst time of year for deer collisions as the animals are more active due to breeding, feeding and hunting patterns.
Collisions with deer can range from minor damage to vehicles to fatal injuries to the occupants of vehicles. Due to the fact that there is a huge deer population in and around the Southwestern Ontario area, motorists need to know we share the road.
OPP have several recommendations to minimize the chance of hitting deer:
- Scan the road ahead from shoulder to shoulder. Deer are particularly active especially at dawn and dusk. Deer rarely travel alone, so when motorists see one there are likely more nearby.
- Watch your speed and be careful when driving at night. Slowing down will give you more time to respond.
- Don’t veer for deer. Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when driver swerves to avoid a deer and hits another vehicle or loses control of their own vehicle.
- Do not direct your full attention to the animal when you take measures to avoid hitting it, because this almost always results in colliding with the animal. Instead, focus your attention on the alternative route you decide to take, again only if this maneuver doesn’t place you and others in danger.
- Always wear your seat belt. Most people who are injured in car-deer collisions were not wearing their seat belt.
- Don’t rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer.
Collisions with a deer or other animal must be reported to authorities if it results in any personal injury, and/or if damage to the vehicle exceeds $2000.