Deer cause more than a million motor vehicle accidents around the country each year, and these crashes can become deadly when vehicles swerve into the path of oncoming traffic to avoid a collision. While deer cannot be trained to avoid roads and highways, Oklahoma drivers can reduce their chances of striking one by understanding their behavior. They should also know the parts of the day, month and year when the risks are highest.
Signs and the time of day
Motorists who wish to avoid striking a deer should look out for warning signs placed by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation in areas where deer have been known to congregate and cross roads. They should also be aware that deer become far more active at dusk and dawn when it is hardest to see them. Studies have found that the chances of striking a deer increase eightfold when the sun goes down and the roads are packed with drivers heading home from work.
Time of the month and year
Deer tend to move around a lot more when they have light to guide them, so they are more likely to cause car accidents when the moon is full. These crashes also occur far more often during the fall rutting season when bucks compete with each other to find mates. As an example, in New York, accidents caused by deer increase by more than 400% in late October and early November.
Driving at a safe speed, using high beams on quiet country roads and remaining vigilant are the best ways to avoid a deer collision, and this common sense approach could prevent other accidents. Motorists should also make sure that their vehicles are properly maintained and pay particular attention to their lights, tire pressures and braking systems.