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From 26 October 2003 Issue

Pass the Buck!
Tips on How to Reduce Deer/Auto Collisions
From Friends of Animals
www.friendsofanimals.org

The quickest way to reduce deer/auto collisions is to get the hunters out of the woods. With hunters gone, the deer will be less stressed, and less likely to run in blind panic across a roadway. That should reduce the current major intensification of deer/auto collisions during the autumn and early winter.

Friends of Animals has researched other tips that motorists can use to reduce the risk of a collision with a deer. Here are some of the important ones:

1. Be extra vigilant when driving at dawn, dusk and the first few hours of darkness, the hours when most collisions occur.

2. Be especially alert during mid- to late-fall, when hunters have made the deer panicky and incautious.

3. Slow down when driving through deer habitat, such as wooded areas and fields. Keep your eyes moving, glancing frequently into the habitat on both sides of the road, and anticipate having to brake. Donít focus your eyes on the middle of the road.

4. Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path. Do not swerve. It can confuse the deer as to where to run. It can also cause you to lose control and hit a tree or another car.

5. Always wear a seat belt. Insurance professionals tell us that most persons injured in deer/auto collisions were not wearing their seat belts.

6. If you see one deer, it is extremely likely there are others around. Be careful!

7. During appropriate hours, use the high beams on your headlights when there is no on-coming traffic. High beams will reflect light from the eyes of a deer on the road long before that part of the road is actually illuminated by the lights.

8. If you see a deer on the road, blow your horn with a single long blast to frighten the animal off the road.

9. Keep your windshield clean. Dirty, pitted or fogged windshields reduce your vision and increase the risk of collision.

10. At night time, deer are usually visible less than 200 feet from your vehicle. It takes a car about 317 feet to stop at 55 mph under optimum conditions. Slow down. A Kansas study has linked increased speed to increased deer/auto collisions.

11. Donít drink and drive. Even a little bit of alcohol reduces reflexes that you will need for handling the risk of a collision.

12. If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. If it is alive, it will certainly be frightened and, in attempting to move could either hurt you or cause itself further pain and suffering. Get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.

(Friends of Animals thanks the Insurance Information Institute - Fairfax County Virginia Government, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for ideas included among the above tips).

Go on to Liberation Now! The National Student Animal Rights Conference
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