Do Deer Mount Bumpers on THEIR Walls?
Deer hunting season is right around the corner! In the autumn, with the deer migrating and chasing mates, it can seem like the deer are the ones hunting US – or our cars, at the least. Auto-deer collisions increase sharply from October through December, with November winning title of “The Month Most Likely to Hit a Deer.” (November didn’t really “win” anything. We made that award up.)
The middle and northern plains states, including Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota, are some of the highest at-risk locations for deer-car incidents. West Virginia is actually THE most likely, with a 1 in 53 chance. But we Iowans are a close second, with the odds only slightly better with a 1 in 77 chance.
Are we all doomed? Should you mount enormous flood lights on the hood of your car, illuminating the surrounding brush to identify potential deer collisions before they happen? Of course not. That would just be silly.
But there ARE some precautions you can take to lower your personal risk and raise the odds in your favor.
- Be aware that deer travel in herds. Don’t be lured into a false sense of security if you see one deer safely cross the road well ahead of you. Where there’s ONE, there’s usually a couple more. Keep a look out for more trailing close behind.
- Dusk is the most popular travel time for deer, usually between 6 and 9 p.m. We can’t recommend that you stay home during those hours, but just prepare for this “rush hour” and watch your surroundings.
- Don’t ignore or dismiss Deer Crossing signs. These are placed strategically in locations with a high history of deer-car accidents.
- Don’t rely on deer whistles that you mount on your car. While they are designed to emit an ultrasonic sound that humans can’t hear, these devices work sporadically at best. Your own sharp attention is still the best defense.
- Sometimes you can’t avoid hitting a deer, but attempting to swerve out of the way could put you and your passengers at higher risk of injury if you lose control of your car or swerve into oncoming traffic. The best plan is to simply slow down – not so hard that you lose control, but enough to minimize impact.
There you have it. We may have just saved your life. Or at least your bumper. But feel free to come see us if you are targeted by the Iowa Deer Mafia (also totally made up) and we’ll get your car back in shape!