Don't Veer for Deer This Fall

Oct 23, 2019

The beginning of fall also marks the beginning of deer mating season. The chances of hitting a deer while driving nearly doubles from October through December. November is the worst month for crashes—October is second.

For professional truck drivers, animal strikes are considered non-preventable accidents, but if you swerve or leave the roadway to avoid hitting the animal, the accident could be deemed preventable. No matter what type of vehicle you're driving, swerving can cause drivers to lose control and travel off the road or into oncoming traffic. The potentially life-threatening effects of swerving and rolling your vehicle are not worth it! 

There may be instances when you have no other choice than to strike the animal. Ruan’s policy for truck drivers states: If left with no safe options to avoid an animal collision, hit the animal. Keep control of your vehicle. Do what you can to reasonably avoid the collision, but not at the risk of swerving out of your lane or leaving the roadway. Reduce your speed as much as safely possible and keep your vehicle in your lane. 

All drivers can take steps to avoid colliding with an animal this fall. Keep these safe driving tips in mind:

  • Stay alert and keep your eyes up. Pay attention to “deer crossing” signs and be especially watchful near large fields and wooded areas.

  • Avoid distractions that may cause you to miss seeing an animal in your path.

  • Be extra cautious at dusk through early evening and in the hours prior to sunrise when deer and other animals are most active.

  • Use high beam lights as much as possible at night, especially in active deer areas.

  • Keep your eyes moving. Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road. If anything looks suspicious, slow down.

  • Deer typically travel in herds—if you see one crossing the road, there are likely to be more.