Fall brings a lot of deer activity close to roads as the animals travel to find enough food to bulk up for the winter ahead. That is bad news for drivers.
A State Farm report puts the chance of having a deer collision in New Jersey at 1 in 171. While that’s far lower than top-ranking West Virginia, where drivers have a 1 in 37 chance of a collision, you don’t want to be that one person. What can you do to reduce your risk?
Use your high beams
Using your high beams in wooded areas (provided no cars are coming the other way) gives you a better chance of spotting a deer up ahead. If you see one on the road while driving with your low beams, a quick flash of full beam might be enough to alert the deer to move.
Slowing down in areas where deer are to be expected increases the chance you can brake in time if a deer is in the road ahead of you.
Swerving to avoid a deer is the most dangerous thing you can do. It’s likely to end with you off the side of the road or running into a vehicle coming the other way. Sometimes, the only safe option is to hit the deer head-on. However, braking as much as you can without losing control is essential.
If another driver crosses into your lane and hits you while attempting to avoid a deer, you’ll need to learn about your legal options for seeking compensation for medical bills and other expenses and damages.