Oh Deer!

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in Community, News | Posted on 29-10-2012

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Just beyond the beam of your headlights, there’s slight movement. It’s barely perceptible, and you keep driving. Several hundred feet later, you see something move again. It’s a deer! There’s no chance to stop. You slam on the brakes, but an impact still occurs.

Welcome to Fall in Wisconsin.

This frightening scene happens surprisingly commonly in this season. According to 2011 reports, the state saw over 18,000 deer-car crashes.  And they’re the worst in the Fall. Less dense foliage and harvest time pushes the animals out into the open, while earlier sunsets makes them harder to see. It’s no surprise over 40 percent of deer crashes occur from mid-October through November, which is during their mating season.Deer Crossing Sign

When a crash does occur, there will be damage. It’s the simple physics of a vehicle traveling at 60 MPH strikes a 150 pound deer. While this situation is unfortunate, Ball Body Shop, a division of Smart Motors, has the expertise required to fix any deer crash incidents.

“The broken windshields, crumpled bumpers, busted headlights, we can definitely fix those,” says Jeff Hepp, body shop manager at Ball Body Shop “We can make any vehicle look like it never met a deer.”

Jeff Hepp recommends avoiding areas where deer congregate after dark. Rural roads, which might lack adequate lighting or feature sharp corners, are a prime area for deer crashes to occur. Over 90 percent of deer crashes occur on the rural backroads, so when traveling through the area, make sure to remain extra vigilant and keep your eyes open—especially at dawn and dusk.

In addition, Jeff offers these tips to make a safe fall driving season:

  • Always use caution when driving—especially at peak hours from 5-10 pm.
  • Deer generally travel in herds. If you see one crossing the road, slow down, as more might be coming.
  • Sometimes it makes sense to hit the deer. This might sound callous, but if the choice comes down to hitting a deer or swerving over the center line, a deer will cause less damage and present less of a risk to human life.
  • Keep an eye out when traveling on rural and country roads.
  • Flash your highbeams to scare deer away. If they freeze in the headlights, just wait for them to move and then slowly proceed.
  • Deer crossing signs do show where deer are more likely to cross.
  • If on a rural road, intermittently honk your horn. Deer have perceptive hearing and will know to avoid an area with such high pitched noise.

By keeping yourself aware of these handy tips, you can reduce your chances of an unexpected deer encounter this year.

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