Ask a Trooper: Don’t veer for deer

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Ask a Trooper — QUESTION:  How about an article on hitting a deer and what to do?  Have you had one of those lately with deer season coming up?

ANSWER:  Great timing!  Yes, we normally talk about this every year about this time.  Drivers need to be aware that we are currently seeing a lot more deer “on the run” right now, and more are starting to get hit.  Slow down when you get to an area with trees on either or both sides of the road, and watch for deer!  We are seeing some bear getting hit now too.

When you see a deer, slow down even more, but never “veer for deer”.  We want to avoid head-on crashes and rollover crashes just because someone was avoiding a deer.  It is best to get your speed down as far as possible and just hit the deer.  If you see the deer up ahead, you can try honking your horn and usually the deer will clear the road.

Always watch for more deer too.  Try not to slam on your brakes, especially in traffic.  Deer seem to react better to sudden noises, rather than loud or ongoing steady noises, which is one reason why deer whistles are not all that effective, as they are “constant”.

Some deer are on a “hot run” and seem to come out of no-where.  Those are the ones that are the most difficult to avoid, and most of the time it seems we can’t.  You can still be better protected by always wearing the seat belt, driving attentively, giving proper reaction to any situation, especially watching for deer.  Thanks for asking. — Sgt. Curt Mowers, Minnesota State Patrol


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