The Wellington County OPP are asking drivers to stay vigilant after almost a dozen cars collided with deer in less than a week.
The uptick in deer-related accidents is caused by increased deer movement. October to early December is the mating season for North American deer, which means November is commonly held as the worst month for deer-car collisions.
The police recommended locals keep an eye out for deer dashing across motorways, especially between sunset and midnight, as well as around sunrise.
Here are some additional tips for how to avoid—and react to—deer in the road.
1. Slow down
Car insurance company Geico puts it best: “The two most important ways to avoid a deer-vehicle collision are: slow down and SLOW DOWN.”
Observe the speed limit when you’re in an area with a significant deer population and be extra conscious of your speed at night. The slower you go, the easier it will be to stop quickly if you see something run into the road.
2. Use your high beams when possible
If you’re the only car around, put your high beams on to ensure you can see as much of the road as possible. Keep an eye on the shoulders too. You may catch the flash of eyes or a movement that will help you brake in time.
3. Don’t swerve
“If you’re going to hit an animal, don’t veer out of your lane,” Constable Marylou Schwindt told the CBC.
Swerving can confuse deer and make them unpredictable. It could also mean you’re swerving into oncoming traffic, or into the shoulder and beyond. You don’t want to miss a deer and run into a tree. It’s safer to brake hard.
However—and this is a big however—if you see a moose, swerve to avoid it. They’re much larger than deer, and are far more likely to cause serious injury if hit head-on.
4. Wear a seatbelt
This should go without saying, but always wear a seatbelt. It could easily save your life in the event of an accident, including if your car collides with a deer.