Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer...
Have you noticed how many deer are around now? I live in a semi-rural setting and the sight of deer grazing on the front lawn is not uncommon, but they are all over the suburbs as well. When I lived off Suwanee Dam Rd, (in a very populated area,) the darned things came up a flight of stone stairs to eat the pansies on my front porch!
While pansy-eating deer are a trivial problem, the hazards they present to motorists are very real. I speak from personal experience. In February 2014, we had visited one of the rental properties off Level Creek Rd and were headed home about dusk. One of the animals ran in front of us, and before I could warn my husband, "there is another," a second deer collided with the top of my windshield. She had attempted (and failed) to jump OVER the car to get across the road. My car was totaled, i ended up in the ER, and the deer got up and ran off! Thankfully, we were already slowing when we struck the deer, but if she had hit six inches lower, she would have come through the windshield. One or both of us could have been killed. I recently read that deer collisions spike between September and February, due to factors including mating season, a search for food, and shorter daylight hours. Deer are most active in early morning and at dusk, and unfortunately, these are the times of lowest visibility due to the angles of the sun. Keep the following in mind while driving to minimize the risks of sharing the roadways with deer.
Deer rarely travel alone. If you see one deer, there are most likely 2-3 others nearby.
They are hard to see. They tend to dart randomly in front of cars, often waiting until the last moment before they jump.
Slow down when approaching a marshy area or wetlands, and when there are trees and brush obscuring the side of the road.
Keep your lights on bright if you are alone or in sparse traffic (except in fog or when there are oncoming cars.)
Be alert and on the look-out. Remember, deer travel in multiples!
Don't swerve off the road to avoid a collision. You may lose control of the car or even overturn.
Deer are graceful and beautiful, but they are not compatible with traffic (or gardens, but that's another story.) If you do have a collision, remember to take pictures as soon as you call 911 for assistance. These can be very helpful in filing an insurance claim.