How To Avoid Deer?

Messages
143
Location
NC
Thread starter
I hit a deer a few years ago with my Ford minivan and it made a mess of the front end. This time of the year in eastern North Carolina the deer are hyperactive. Deer are crepuscular. Sometimes I can't get around driving at dusk or at night. There are 'Deer Crossing' signs on the roads everywhere but apparently the deer don't pay attention to them. Maybe the hunters drive them out of the woods. What is your strategy for avoiding these potentially suicidal creatures?
 
Messages
324
Location
Northern KY
My strategy is unsuccessful. I've hit six and my wife has hit even more. She hit one driving her new car home off the dealership lot that came close to totaling it. Drive slow, keep your eyes peeled. I think the deer whistles you used to be able to get actually help, but I haven't seen them for sale in years.
 
Messages
3,279
Location
On another site
It's not suicide. They see you coming, and since your car is at least 3-4 times faster than their normal predator, they stand there thinking you can't close the distance in the time that you do, then they're surprised. They're also waiting for you to make a move. I've found a move to either side will get them to run the opposite direction*....doesn't take much and since most cars are 6' wide and the lanes are 12' wide you have some decent room there. Make it quick, to make it very apparent to them which way you are moving. If I'm driving through a deer laden area, beeping the horn every 1/2 mile or so lets them know you are coming, so they're looking at you rather than being surprised. Knock on wood, never hit one yet in almost a million miles. *works for squirrels, too.
 
Messages
7,824
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Keep you head up (just like in the woods) and keep it MOVING. Heaven forbid you slow down.....at least contribute to bettering your chances! See deer? slow to a near stop and look around. They do cluster. TRUE TALE A friend picked up his new car and drove 78 miles home. The next day BANG. A deer instantly appeared. Completely unexpected at probably 13 mph on their road. Be alert, know where you are (increases success odds), go slow. Deer seem not to know which end is up sometimes. Also, people say silly things about deer. They assign human attributes to deer. If their noses are so super, why do they want to be near my car? I guess they get used to things. What they do is "trigger". They're explosively reactive. I'm not sure how wily they really are. edit: Just read JLTD's horn blowing advice. Sounds good to "let 'em know you're there". That was included in the driver's ed movie, "The Smith System".
 
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Messages
933
Location
Arizona
My brother only saw a flash and hit a deer on his ZX-11 ~35mph with the daughter on the back. The deer wrapped around the front completely crushing all the plastics and a hoof hit and broke his toe. he stayed up and the deer was dead.. Most people that get killed get killed by trying to avoid the deer. If you see it coming just brake and let it happen ...don't drive into the ditch or over the cliff.
 
Messages
6,415
Location
Wet side WA
I've had great success with my method. At night in deer country you slow down if you still think you want to drive 60 MPH at night good luck with that.
 
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Messages
1,099
Location
MO
Lived in OH and PA for quite a few years, deer in that area were plentiful during mating season. Slow down, in dark areas use your high beams, if you come up on a deer you have to watch for the ones that you don't see.
 
Messages
1,024
Location
Maryland
Be alert and on guard. Slow down. Use Deer Alert whistles on your car. They do help a lot but are not foolproof. If you see them close to the road lay on your horn.
 
Messages
2,167
Location
Flaherty, KY
I've only hit one deer, it was while a friend and I were moving from VT to CO about 15 years ago. Hit it on I-70 doing 70mph near Zanesville, OH. Crushed the front end pretty good on the '91 Nissan pickup we were driving. Took us two days to piece the truck back together with new parts (radiator, fan, headlights, few other bits), and lots of zip ties & duct tape! We made it there in one piece. I don't do anything to avoid deer specifically, other than be wary and watchful after the sun goes down until the early morning hours. I still maintain the speed limit, I figure if it's going to happen, it's gonna happen regardless of whether I'm doing 60 or 40. Had a close call a couple months ago with one darting out in front of me, but the timing was such that she made it across before I hit her. More often than not, when I see them near the road, they stay still and aren't bothered by me passing by them.
 
Messages
1,333
Location
Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted by Passport1
I hit a deer a few years ago with my Ford minivan and it made a mess of the front end. This time of the year in eastern North Carolina the deer are hyperactive. Deer are crepuscular. Sometimes I can't get around driving at dusk or at night. There are 'Deer Crossing' signs on the roads everywhere but apparently the deer don't pay attention to them. Maybe the hunters drive them out of the woods. What is your strategy for avoiding these potentially suicidal creatures?
You have to watch out for both deer and bears when you drive. Good luck on avoiding both!!! I know of people that have ran into both down east. As for a strategy, if your headlight bulbs are old and decreasing in performance, replace them with new bulbs so you can spot out Bambi and Co. a bit earlier. Sometimes Bambi and the fam will literally run into your car even if you come to a complete stop for them to go. They'll look at your car and run into the door (at times). That's about the best you can do out that way. My point of reference: Originally from that part of the state and I still visit often.
 
Messages
1,767
Location
Toronto Canada
Two days ago at 6 a.m. raining and windy, my wife totalled our old 06 Malibu right here in Toronto. About 200 yards from a park, a deer ran off someone's lawn and struck the left front corner of the car that was doing about 36 mph. Headlight gone, rad and ac coil gone, hood folded under itself and left front fender pushed back so you can't open the driver's door. Air bag did not deploy but the wife is alright, Deer was immediately lifeless. I don't see how you are ever going to prevent this kind of thing. At 70mph it gotta be a killer.
 
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Messages
309
Location
Canadia
Settle in at a safe following distance behind another vehicle, ideally a transport truck. It's possible one could still get you, but it's a lot less likely with someone else clearing the way.
 
Messages
664
Location
New Hampshire USA
Driving along a 2 lane at dusk in a long line of traffic a doe ran into the left front fender. Pulled over and waited for the cops to show up and he offered me the venison Declined, freezer was full.
 
Messages
6,705
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
Slow down. If the deer pops out, quickly assess if you can pull into the next lane. A head on collision is far worse than a deer hit. Try swerve a bit if you have to but don't head for the ditch.Take the deer out if you have to. I had to slam on the brakes for a deer back in July. I smoked the tires and flat spotted them. At least is was cheaper than a hit. The last I saw of the deer was it's rear hooves just cleared the driver's side fender as it leaped into the oncoming lane. Luckily there was no car approaching.
 
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Messages
1,397
Location
Not here
I live in close to record deer strike country! I tell my wife as I've taught both kids. Square up on em and floor it! Don't swerve and don't lock the brakes up just square up on them. In the 25 years that I've lived at my current house I can't even count the number of people that have died avoiding a dammed deer. One young girl even drowned upside down in her car belted in in the creek bottom in a dammed creek that was 16" of flowing water. She couldn't get her belt unbuckled. Autopsy showed no injuries at all and black marks on the road showing that she swerved lost it over corrected and went in nearly straight backwards. I have a Bambi basher on my race to work truck and it's been used a few times. Just slow down and if you have to just hit them simple as that !
 
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Yep. Hit the brakes, hit the horn and if you have to hit the deer. Living in deer country the question isn't if you'll ever hit a deer, it's how much damage will it do to your car? Earlier in the summer my BIL in western Pa hit a deer square on in his work truck, the next evening he hit one that windmilled back the side of his nice Impala LTZ. Over $20k between the two. Both ran out of the woods full speed in daylight, nothing to do but hit them. It's mating season and hunting season now, deer are moving and acting crazy. I hit a deer at 4 AM that was standing in my lane in a slight uphill left hand turn, she was facing right. Hit the brakes and the horn and got slowed down , moved 1/2 lane left thought I had it cleared as I couldn't quite get stopped and as I was about to go by it did a reverse 180 turn and I hit it with the left front. Probably 20 mph and $2700.
 
Messages
544
Location
SE Alabama
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
Slow down. If the deer pops out, quickly assess if you can pull into the next lane. A head on collision is far worse than a deer hit. Try swerve a bit if you have to but don't head for the ditch.Take the deer out if you have to. I had to slam on the brakes for a deer back in July. I smoked the tires and flat spotted them. At least is was cheaper than a hit. The last I saw of the deer was it's rear hooves just cleared the driver's side fender as it leaped into the oncoming lane. Luckily there was no car approaching.
Bad advice. You don't have time to "quickly assess" if you can pull into the next lane. A real deer strike happens so fast that it's over before you see it coming. Or you can move to the south with us Alabama folks where they put fences along the high speed routes to prevent wildlife from getting onto the highway.
 
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