Caught in the head­lights

Sim­ple tips to help avoid deer col­li­sions

The Covington News - - AGRICULTURE & OUTDOORS -

With the deer pop­u­la­tion in­creas­ing across the coun­try, and liv­ing space for wildlife on the de­cline, the num­ber of in­ci­dents in­volv­ing a deer jump­ing into the path of a car has been steadily on the rise. This is es­pe­cially true from Oc­to­ber through De­cem­ber when male deer ac­tiv­ity dra­mat­i­cally in­creases, re­sult­ing in a sig­nif­i­cant rise in the num­ber of ve­hic­u­lar col­li­sions.

A deer can lit­er­ally come out of nowhere, leav­ing only sec­onds to re­act. Even worse, the col­li­sion can re­sult in sig­nif­i­cant prop­erty dam­age and even life- threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions.

To stay safe, con­sider the fol­low­ing:

Watch the clock

Deer are most ac­tive from sun­set to mid­night, and dur­ing the hours just be­fore and af­ter sun­rise, which are feed­ing times.

Watch your speed

It’s not just the speed of the an­i­mal that plays a fac­tor — it’s the speed of the ve­hi­cle. Think about it: if you are driv­ing your ve­hi­cle at a speed of over 60 miles per hour, you’ll cover the length of a foot­ball field in the same time it takes to change a CD.

Keep your eyes open

Deer don’t run alone. If you see one, there are likely oth­ers nearby.

Don’t swerve

If a deer is sud­denly in front of you, sound your horn to frighten it away. Break firmly, but stay in your lane. Se­ri­ous crashes hap­pen when driv­ers swerve to avoid a deer, only to hit other ve­hi­cles or lose con­trol of their cars.

Wear your seat­belt.

Most peo­ple in­jured in deer/ car crashes were un­buck­led at the time.

“ Deer are big­ger and heav­ier than peo­ple may think,” said Mike Con­very, vice pres­i­dent and chief claim of­fi­cer of MetLife Auto & Home. “ For­tu­nately, by stay­ing alert and re­act­ing ap­pro­pri­ately, it’s pos­si­ble to avoid many col­li­sions.”

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion on wildlife col­li­sions, MetLife Auto & Home is of­fer­ing to the pub­lic a free new brochure, “ Deer Col­li­sions: How to Avoid Be­com­ing a Statis­tic.”

The brochure pro­vides use­ful in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing other tips on how to avoid a deer col­li­sion, and is avail­able by call­ing ( 800) 6385433.

Metro Creative Ser­vices

Dan­ger zone: Avoid col­li­sions with deer by driv­ing cau­tiously and keep­ing watch dur­ing peak deer move­ment hours.

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