Our Northwest

How to avoid hitting a deer

February 13, 2019 by PEMCO Insurance
​Who doesn't g​et a thrill spotting a deer nibbling grass alongside the road? oh deer.jpg

But not so thrilling? That same deer if suddenly bounds in front of your bumper!

In Washington, your odds of hitting a deer are 1 in 395. In Oregon, it's 1 in 256. Not too bad, actually, but if you're that unlu​cky "1," know that your PEMCO comprehensive coverage has your car protected.

You also can enjoy trips through deer country more when you:

  1. Drive extra carefully in the fall. Did you know that half to two-thirds of deer collisions happen from October through December? That's when deer are most often on the move, usually around dawn and from dusk to midnight. Accidents also are more common on new stretches of roadway that deer haven't yet learned to avoid.

  2. Cut your speed. Those extra seconds buy you precious time to react to a deer in your path.

  3.  Use high beam headlights on rural roads. They better illuminate the eyes of a deer near the roadway.

  4.  Anticipate more deer if you see one. Deer often travel in groups of two or three. They may dart out to join another that has just crossed the road.​

  5. Don't swerve. Sadly, you're much more likely to wreck your car if you swerve to avoid a deer, rather than hit it. Slow down as quickly as possible, stay in your lane, and maintain control.

  6. Honk steadily. If a deer seems "frozen" in your headlights, your steady honk may be enough to scare it safely back to the woods.

  7. Buckle up or, for motorcyclists, wear a helmet. Your chances of serious injury soar if you're not properly protected in any kind of accident. ​ 

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