Police talk about safety while driving with deer on the road
Right now it’s the most dangerous time of year for car crashes involving deer.
While you were sleeping, police were responding to multiple deer accidents across the area.
Deer are the most active between dusk and dawn. On the ends of that time frame, when most people are heading to work in the morning or going home in the evening.
That’s why it’s so important all drivers are on the same page when it comes to reacting to deer on the road.
“I’m like, I couldn’t even see it so it was you know too late. It was right there on top of me. It was very scary,” said Lissette Santana, lives in South Bend.
Santana hit a deer while driving on the Indiana Toll Road at night.
“My car was very bad. I felt really sad because I could see the fur on the front of my vehicle and now I’m always paranoid. I’m always afraid to drive at night because I can’t see,” said Santana.
Kate Bergman almost hit a deer driving at night on a back road.
“There’s nothing you can do so it’s, it was by the grace of God,” said Bergman.
When a deer is in the road, instinct tells us to avoid it.
“If you can – if there’s nobody close behind you – break firmly and smoothly. Don’t swerve. Keep your hands on the wheel,” said Sgt. Ted Bohner, Indiana State Police.
But sometimes you don’t have the time or option to safely get out of its way. In those moments, Bohner says it’s better for your safety to hit the deer.
Your car can be fixed.
“If you’re looking at rolling the dice and taking chances, your chances of having minimal to no injuries from hitting a deer are a lot greater than swerving and hitting another car or a tree or something like that,” said Bohner.
If you’re driving in the dark, use your high beams if you can. Deer have reflective eyes, so you may be able to see them in the distance.
Don’t forget, they often travel in groups.
“Obviously follow the speed limit, you know that way you have more reaction time. Drive defensively and of course always buckle up,” said Bohner.
“Maybe watch closer and not go real fast, because they’ve got the signs up a lot of places and just slow down and watch,” said Bergman.
“I’m careful everywhere I’m driving now. Just slower, be more aware. Trying to look for at night you’ll see the bitty eyes glowing. I tell my daughter look for eyes! Look for something glowing, be careful,” said Santana.
Another key to safety – don’t let distractions like your phone, food or people take your eyes off the road.
If you do hit a deer, try to get off of the road and call police from inside of your car. Don’t go near the deer.