November 09, 2018
Don't be a Deer in the Headlights
Just picture it — you're driving on a winding road blasting some music, enjoying your time with family and friends, when something pops out in front of you. Do you brake? Do you try to swerve around the thing? Animals seem to have other things on their mind near the roads, and can often jump out at us while we drive, which can cause major safety issues. These moments need a quick response but it can be challenging to think through what to do and then do it on the fly. That's why we're providing some guidelines to help prevent a collision between your car and an animal during this season!
If a deer appears on the road…
Don't do it. The instinctual action of swerving can actually cause more harm than good because you may swerve into the other lane with oncoming traffic, a tree, a fence, or road sign, which can increase your chance of injury.
Drive towards where the animal came from
Roaming wildlife are most likely to either stand where they are discovered in fear or will run onward in the continual direction from whence they came. If you feel you can safely maneuver your car, your best option to miss the animal is to drive towards the direction where the animal came from (this will not work for deer).
Unless there is a car directly behind you, brake firmly and safely slow your vehicle. If there is a car close by, slow down, but make sure to honk your horn to signal to the other driver that there is a problem ahead. By the way, Mythbusters busted the myth that speeding up will decrease your chances of injury — so don't do that!
Lean towards a door pillar
In the event of an unavoidable crash, leaning towards a door pillar will give an extra layer of protection between you and the approaching impact. In most instances of a severe collision between man and animal, the center of the car is crushed, so lean towards the door pillar to benefit from the added protection of the pillar.
Under every circumstance, you should also always make sure you are driving at a safe speed — those speed limits are more than a suggestion! Following the posted speed for a specific stretch of road gives you the benefit of being under control regardless of twists and turns and unexpected visitors!
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