With the return to Central Standard Time it gets darker much earlier in the Ark-La-Tex.  Coupled with the fact that it's deer mating season, this time of year is particularly primed for vehicle/deer collisions.

During mating season, deer are a little distracted and they tend to not pay any particular attention to where they're going.  That means it's incumbent upon drivers to be especially alert while driving especially near dawn or dusk when deer are active.  Most collisions occur in the two hours before sunrise and the two hours after sundown.

With that in mind, here are four tips on avoiding a collision with a deer:

  1. When possible, drive with your high beams on and keep an eye out for deer on the side of the road. The earlier you see a deer, the more time you have to avoid a crash.
  2. If you see a deer, another one may be right behind.  Deer tend to travel in pairs or groups, so if you see one deer cross the road others are likely to follow.
  3. If a deer does cross in front of your path, do not swerve.  Brake firmly in a straight line. Swerving can cause your vehicle to flip, collide with another vehicle, or hit a stationary object.
  4. Don't rely on deer whistles or other devices to scare deer away.  Research has shown that most of these products do not work, and that driver diligence is a much better deterrent.

November is the #1 month for car/deer collisions in the U.S.  The good news is that Louisiana ranks 41st in the number of these collisions. With a little extra caution, you may be able to avoid the ranks of those who have a vehicular encounter with one of our hoofed friends.