Bakersfield CA may not be known as the deer capital of the world but during certain times of year we can become overrun with them. While you cannot prevent 100% of deer accidents, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk of being involved.
- Don’t Speed If you are driving through an area you know has deer then the best thing you can do to prevent a car accident is to drive slowly. Drive at or below the speed limit. If you are driving slowly, then you will be more likely able to stop suddenly. If you do hit a deer, the slower you are driving the less significant the impact is likely to be.
- Keep Your Vehicle in the Center Lane If you are driving down a multi-lane road, the safest lane to drive in is the center lane – this is according to the Federal Highway Administration. The center lane offers you the maximum amount of time to react in the event you do come into contact with a deer.
- Do Not Swerve If a deer does jump out in front of your car, it can be startling. You may have the urge to swerve in an attempt to miss hitting it. This may actually be the worst thing you can do. Why? Because swerving can cause a rollover accident. It can also make it unclear to the deer where they should run. The result is often that you swerve, hit the deer anyway, and do unnecessary damage to your vehicle. If you are not able to prevent hitting the deer, hit it while keeping control of your vehicle. This is what the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service recommends. You should also keep driving without braking because hitting the brakes can cause the deer to hit the windshield instead of passing underneath the vehicle.
- Use Your Bright Lights Also known as your high beams, use your brights when there is no traffic coming towards you. This is once again the advice of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Using your high beams helps light up the eyes of the deer further down the road, which gives you more time to respond if you do see a deer. These lights can also scare the deer away from the road.
- Know That Where You See One Deer There Are More Deer If you see a single deer, you should assume that there are more deer coming. Deer generally travel in groups and stats show that the second or third deer that crosses the road is more likely to be hit by a driver than the first one. If you see a deer and there are no other vehicles around, pull over and wait until you are sure there are no more deer coming.