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Why Don’t Deer Follow the Rules?

Apparently, this is a question that actually gets asked a lot: “Why don’t we move the deer crossing signs to where it’s safer for them to cross?” (According to a recent report from the Des Moines Register in Iowa). The deer crossing signs, of course, aren’t there for the deer to follow, because deer cannot read and understand signs. The signs are there for us to know where deer commonly cross so we can avoid them.

All joking aside, though, deer are a significant danger for drivers throughout the Midwest. It is critical to be aware of the risks and know how to avoid them when driving anywhere in Ohio or throughout the Midwest.

Spotting Deer

In order to avoid deer, it is critical to know how to spot them.

First, be mindful of deer crossing signs (no, these signs are not for deer to follow; they are for drivers to know when they are driving through areas of heavy deer population).

Second, be especially careful of driving either at dawn or dusk. These are the times deer most commonly come out looking for food, so they are out in much greater numbers during these times.

Using high beams to see farther and more clearly is important for spotting deer as well. However, please make sure you to turn off your brights for oncoming cars.

Avoiding Deer and Minimizing Damage

Slow down. If you are driving more slowly and carefully, you will be much more likely to see deer in your path and to avoid them while minimizing the potential damage of a deer-related collision.

Do not veer for deer. This is the most important piece of advice for avoiding collisions with deer, and it is also the most frequently ignored rule. In most cases, the instinct to crank the wheel one way or the other to avoid a deer is extremely strong – almost impossible to resist. But this move will usually veer yourself right into a nearby vehicle instead of the deer.

Be careful out there. Although peak season has come and gone, there is always danger of a deer seeking food crossing the road when you least expect it.