Our Northwest

It’s peak season for car-deer collisions

Friday, November 6, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

This week, PEMCO handled new claims for cars colliding with deer. It’s that time of year again.
     These claims involved deer traveling in groups at dusk. Be extra alert this month. And if you see one deer, expect that more may follow.
     So what makes fall the peak time for deer (or elk) crashes? Deer behave oddly October through December because they’re migrating and … well, they’re searching for mates, so they can breed.
     In other words, they’re following their primal urges rather than watching out for cars. I guess you can say they’re distracted.
     I had a close call in November a couple years ago crossing the Cascades on I-90. There’s a long downhill stretch between Exit 38 (Homestead Valley Road) and Exit 34 (Edgewick Road), and more than once I’ve seen deer scamper down an embankment there and cross the pavement. One time a deer appeared so quickly I had little time to react.
     Now, each time I drive that stretch, I move into the middle lane of three lanes, figuring that gives me more cushion to react whether a deer darts out from my left or my right.
     Read PEMCO's “Avoid deer-vehicle collisions” for tips you can use to avoid a dangerous and messy crash.

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