Oh Deer – How to Safely Navigate Roadways During Peak Deer Season

Oh deer. When travelling in Iowa, whether it be across the state or across town, there’s a good chance you encounter deer on your daily commute. Every fall and winter, it seems like deer love to cross the road at the most inconvenient times. While you may not be able to change the fact that deer might jump in front of your vehicle, you can change the likelihood that you and the deer get home safely.

Stay alert as you are traveling. There are many factors that increase the risk of vehicle-deer collisions. Fall deer behavior, crop harvest, and peak travel times for commuters are just a few of these factors.

To ensure your safety, “sweep” eye movements from ditch to ditch. This is especially important while driving during low light hours and near tree-lined areas.  Increase following distance between vehicles, because you never know when the car in front of you is going to slam on their brakes due to a deer in the road.

Don’t veer for deer. Resist the sudden impulse to jerk your wheel in one direction. Instead, firmly grasp the wheel while applying the brakes and honk your horn.

As dad always said, when there is one, there is always more. Deer very rarely travel by themselves, so don’t take off once one deer passes. Make sure the roadway is completely safe before increasing your speed.

There is no guarantee that you can avoid encounters with deer, but if you follow these tips, you should be able to drive away with out much more than a minor inconvenience.