Don’t drink and drive, watch for deer

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2016

With New Year’s Day celebrations on tap for the coming weekend, you may have been told to avoid drinking and driving and that law enforcement will be out on the roads enforcing the law.

But what you may not have heard is that there is another danger to cars on the roadways, deer.

Deer breeding season in Pearl River County ranges from early to late January.

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This, combined with added travel needed to find food, will mean deer will be more mobile. In order to conduct that travel, many times these four-legged animals have to cross roadways, at times into oncoming traffic.

While there is no absolute method to avoid a deer collision, there are certain times during the day when deer are more active.

During the late afternoon and at night and just before dawn, deer are on the move.

Be aware that if you see one deer cross the road, there is a high probability that more are right behind it.

So, by reducing your speed and watching for deer in the tree line you can be better prepared should any type of animal cross your path.

Using high beams when there are no vehicles in the opposite lanes will allow you to see the reflection in a deer’s eyes sooner.

If a deer collision is imminent, don’t swerve to avoid the animal.

By swerving you increase the chance of losing control of the vehicle, and being involved in a more severe accident.

But at the same time avoid braking too quickly if the roads are wet, or if someone is following too closely.

If you do strike a deer with your vehicle, don’t attempt to touch the animal. It may still be alive, and cause injury to you or itself.

And most of all, wear your seatbelt. If you do hit a deer and your vehicle is totaled, it’s better to file an insurance claim for damage to your vehicle, as opposed to a health insurance claim for a hospital bill.