Tips for Handling Deer on the Road

Safety Tip of the Week
Watch for Deer

Depending on where you live, you may or may not encounter cows on the road. But deer are everywhere nowadays, even in suburbs and cities. A collision between a motorcycle and a deer can cause serious injury, even death. In Wisconsin, for example, while only 2% of deer-car crashes caused a person to die, 84.9% of motorcyclists who hit a deer died.

If you see a sign indicating a deer crossing area, be hyper-vigilant.

Deer generally lie low during the day. They feed and move about from dusk to dawn. This means that you must be especially vigilant when it’s dark or nearly dark.

Drive with your high-beams on. The brighter the light, the farther you can see.

Deer eyes reflect the light from headlights, so scan the sides of the road for those reflections. Slow way down or stop and wait for the deer to cross.

Deer rarely travel alone. A typical group is Momma, baby, and last year’s baby. So be sure the entire group has crossed the road before you proceed.

If a deer stands frozen in the road, try flashing your headlight. It’s the light that seems to hypnotize them.

If it looks like a collision is unavoidable, keep braking as long as you can and don’t swerve. Head-on is safest.

If the deer is injured, but alive, stay away from it. Call the highway patrol to dispatch the animal. Even when they don’t have antlers, deer have sharp, pointy feet and they can do a lot of damage when they are hurt and scared.

Stay safe out there!
- Mike

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