Deer on the Move in the Autumn

Each fall, deer are on the move on Minnesota roads. They are big animals and cause a lot of damage and many times personal injury is a result of each collision. The best way to avoid a collision is to watch your speed, keep a good look out, and only drive while you are driving.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has pointed out that you should not swerve to miss a deer. “You can reduce the severity of the outcome,” said Lt. Jody Skogen, safety and education officer with the North Dakota State Patrol. “Your vehicle can be unforgiving if you jerk too hard, and it can cause a rollover. The deer strike is far less serious than if you overreact and go into a rollover.” October and November are the highest months for deer collisions in this area of the country.

How to prevent a deer accident in Minnesota

There are a few things to keep in mind when driving at this time of year.  Keep your eyes peeled. Deer rarely travel alone. As pack animals, deer are most often seen in groups of two or more. If you see one deer cross the road, chances are high that there are more following behind.

Know when deer are active. These animals, like many others, are most active in the early morning and late evening. In other words: dusk and dawn. Deer are even more active during mating season. If you are driving after the sun goes down and before it comes up, be even more vigilant.

Buckle up. If you aren’t the type of person who buckles up every time you drive, now is a good time to get in the habit. Should you collide with a deer, a seat belt could very well save your life.

Stay in the middle. When you travel down a multi-lane road, stay in the center. This gives you more time to see a deer coming at you, and it gives you more room to react should you need to.

Pay attention. The state Department of Natural Resources doesn't randomly choose where it's going to put those deer crossing signs. Placement is based on accident numbers and known deer patterns. Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road. If anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.

If you see a deer in the road, brake firmly and blow your horn. Don't bother with gadgets. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has studied deer whistles and determined they have no effect whatsoever./

Car-deer crashes are most likely to occur between 5 and 8 a.m. and between 5 p.m. and midnight from October to January; between 5 and 7 a.m. from March to June; and between 8 p.m. and midnight from April to August.

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