If you do hit a deer, you must report the incident to the police
Many of us know someone who’s hit a deer or just missed one whilst travelling on UK roads and because of the size of them, it can be very dangerous and often costly too.
More often than not, they travel in groups and because they’re large, heavy and very fast, they scare easily and this makes them panic.
So, what can you do this autumn/winter to avoid hitting a deer?
Basically, drive the same way as you do every day with other road users around you, using your skills and reflexes to stay safe and alert on the road.
IAM RoadSmart remind us that we should be slowing down when we see deer warning signs on the side of the road. The likelihood, is that if you see one deer, there’s probably more in the same area, so stay vigilant.
Try to avoid swerving, as this could lead to you losing control of your vehicle. How deer react is very unpredictable, so swerving is definitely not the answer and may end up in a collision anyway.
Stay calm, keep your wits about you and don’t slam the brakes on, as this could confuse any vehicles behind you and lead to an even bigger incident.
If possible, try and warn other drivers of deer in the road by using your hazard lights and early braking.
Sometimes, despite putting all this helpful advice into practice, hitting a deer is unavoidable. Here’s what to do if it ever happens to you:
- Pull over somewhere safe.
- Check everyone in the vehicle is okay.
- Check the condition of your car – is it still okay to drive?
- Inform the police and let them know exactly where the incident happened.
- Don’t approach the deer, as it could still hurt you, itself or other drivers passing by – there’s little you can do to help the animal.
“A collision with any animal is unpleasant and we should make every effort to avoid this,” said Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, adding: “A collision with something as large as a deer will be catastrophic. It will likely cause injury to vehicle occupants and itself. It will definitely cause damage to your vehicle – even if it’s as small as a Muntjac. Slow down a little and remember we are sharing the wildlife’s habitat and not the other way around.”
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