Deer can be a significant hazard on Ohio’s roads this time of year. There were 2,100 crashes involving them in Ohio in 2020. Knowing how to reduce the risk of a crash will be essential if you drive on rural roads.
Here are some things to consider:
Slow down in areas where deer are likely
It can be tempting to drive fast on rural roads, especially if there is little traffic. Yet the faster you travel, the longer it will take you to slow down. You won’t always get a warning if a deer crosses the road, especially if it’s on a windy stretch or dark. Hence, reducing your speed increases the chance you can stop in time if needed.
Use the full beams on your headlights
You obviously cannot do this if there is a lot of traffic coming the other way. Yet it’s a good tactic on quiet roads. The deer’s eyes will sparkle in the beam, making them easier to see than the animal’s body. If a car does come the other way, just switch to low beam until you can revert to full beam again.
Brake, don’t swerve
You will damage your car if you hit a deer head-on. Yet, if you keep straight and brake hard, the deer may move out of the way before you get there. If you try to avoid the deer by swerving, you might still hit it, as it tries to move out of your way. Or you might go off the side of the road, or straight into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
If a driver coming the other way swerves to avoid a deer and hits you, leaving you injured, seek legal help to claim the compensation you need to cover your losses.