As autumn arrives and we start to get excited about cool weather, pumpkin spice, and Halloween festivities, we also have to remember that this season comes with it’s challenges too–and we don’t mean scary movies or spooky haunted houses. Deer season is upon us, and for drivers, it can be a fright in itself. Fall means that deer and other wildlife are becoming more active, making our chances of encountering them on the road higher. These majestic creatures are great in nature, but on the road or the highway, they pose a danger to us, our vehicles, and the deer themselves! At Graham Collision, we want you and your vehicle to make it out of deer season safely.
One of the first steps to ensure your safety on the road during deer season is to stay informed about deer activity in your area. Keep an eye on local news, wildlife reports, and social media groups dedicated to hunting and outdoor activities. By staying informed, you can anticipate areas with a higher risk of deer encounters and adjust your driving accordingly.
Time Your Travels
Deer are most active during dawn and dusk, which unfortunately coincides with morning and evening rush hours. To reduce your risk of encountering deer on the road, consider adjusting your travel times. If possible, plan your trips during daylight hours when deer are less likely to be on the move.
Slow Down and Be Vigilant
When driving during deer season, it’s crucial to reduce your speed and stay vigilant. Pay close attention to road signs indicating high deer activity areas and slow down as you approach them. Keep your eyes on the road, scan the sides, and use your peripheral vision to spot any potential deer near the road.
Use High Beams Wisely
Your vehicle’s high beams can be a valuable tool in spotting deer from a distance. However, be cautious not to blind oncoming drivers. When you see a deer or notice reflective eyes on the roadside, switch to your high beams if it’s safe to do so. This extra visibility can give you more time to react to potential hazards.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Ensuring your vehicle is in top condition is essential year-round but becomes even more critical during deer season. Check your headlights, taillights, and brake lights to ensure they are functioning correctly. Properly inflated tires and well-maintained brakes can also improve your ability to react quickly to sudden deer crossings.
Stay Centered in Your Lane
While driving, stay centered in your lane as much as possible. This allows you more time and space to react if a deer suddenly appears on the road. Avoid swerving into other lanes or off the road, as this can lead to more severe accidents.
Use Your Horn and Brakes
If you encounter a deer on the road and it doesn’t move away, honk your horn and use your brakes to slow down. This can startle the deer and may prompt it to move out of your way. However, never assume that a deer will react predictably, so always be prepared for sudden movements.
Don’t Rely on Deer Whistles
Deer whistles are devices that claim to deter deer from approaching your vehicle. However, their effectiveness is widely debated, and they should not be relied upon as your sole defense against deer collisions. Staying attentive and following the tips mentioned above are more reliable ways to stay safe.
Fall in Iowa is a beautiful time of year, with a long-awaited reprieve from the summer heat, festive activities to get into, and our gorgeous state flourishes with warm colors, it’s no wonder why the season is a favorite for a lot of folks! However, it’s essential to prioritize safety when traveling during this period. By following these safety tips, you can reduce the risk of deer-related collisions and keep both yourself and your vehicle safe on the road. Remember that accidents can happen, so if you do encounter a collision with a deer, our team at Graham Collision is here to provide the autobody repair services you need to get back on the road safely. Stay safe, and happy driving!