What to Do If A Deer Jumps in Front of Your Moving Vehicle
Hundreds of thousands of deer are hit by cars — or hit cars — every year in the U.S. Car accidents involving deer are almost always fatal to the animal and can cause significant vehicle damage, but it’s possible to mitigate that damage. Here’s what you should do if a deer jumps in front of your moving car.
Swerving to avoid hitting an animal, deer or otherwise, is dangerous and will likely cause more injuries and damage. Those who swerve around animals in their vehicle’s path are more likely to hit a guardrail or trees, a potentially fatal alternative. As hard as it is to do so, hit the deer in your way rather than causing a worse accident for yourself.
Honk Your Horn
Many drivers forget that their horns can be used on deer in addition to unruly drivers. If a deer jumps in front of your moving vehicle, a blast of your car horn may be enough to scare it out of your way. Honking is one of your only chances to avoid a collision.
When you’re going to hit a deer with your vehicle, brake as firmly as possible without putting yourself in danger. The collision will most likely be fatal to the deer no matter how fast you’re going, so braking is as much a way to minimize the potential damage. If you’re going to hit the deer no matter what, let off your breaks right before the collision, which will make the nose of your car come back up and reduce the chance of the deer hitting your windshield.
Get to a Safe Place
It’s important to get off the road and to a safe place before reporting the accident. If your car is able, drive to the side of the road, into a driveway or even to the next parking lot. Keep your seat belt on, and use your hazard light if you can only go as far as the side of the road. Then call the police to report the accident.
Tips to Avoid Hitting Deer
Sometimes hitting a deer is inevitable, but there are several things you can do to keep it from happening, especially between sunset and sunrise when there are more deer around.
- Avoid distractions such as your phone
- Keep to the center of multi-lane roads
- Use your bright headlights to reflect the eyes of the deer (when there’s no oncoming traffic)
- Be cautious and slow down when you see ‘Deer Crossing’ signs
All of these tips will help you prevent hitting a deer by making them easier to spot and giving you a longer reaction time if a deer does jump in front of your car.
Injured in an Accident? Call Cesar.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a deer, call a car accident injury lawyer to ensure your insurance covers the claim. A car accident attorney will make sure you’re compensated properly.