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Tips For Avoiding Deer On The Road


Michigan ranks in at #10 on the list of states motorists are most likely to hit a deer.  Drivers in the mitten have a 1 in 97 chance of colliding into a deer, with an average of $4,100 in damage done to their vehicles.  Kent County in particular is no stranger to deer collisions, and ranks 2nd in the state for occurrences.  While more than half of accidents involving a deer take place in October, November and December, the truth is they can happen any time.  Knowing ahead of time what to look for out on the road, can help you prevent possible injuries, costly repairs and the inconvenient loss of your vehicle.

Tips For Avoiding Deer

  • Slow Down: It may sound too simple to be effective, but slowing your speed in dense deer populations is one of the most important methods for avoiding them.  Driving conservatively not only allows you more time to stop your vehicle if necessary but can reduce the amount of damage done to your vehicle should you collide.
  • Look for glowing eyes on the side of the road: Deer eyes reflect in light and spotting them early on the side of the road can give you the extra time it takes to react properly.
  • Use high beams to increase visibility: Having better visibility offers you more time to slow down and in turn, avoid hitting a deer.  Use your brights to see further down the road when it doesn’t interfere with other driver’s ability to see.
  • Look for more deer if you see one: Deer are pack animals and rarely travel alone. Be alert even if a deer ahead has crossed safely to the other side. Chances are, there are more to follow.
  • Dawn & dusk are high risk times: Most deer accidents take place between 5 pm-midnight & 5 am-8 am.  Use particular caution while driving at these times, scanning the side of the road often.
  • Give yourself space: Tailgating has been determined as a contributing factor in over 1/3 of all accidents. While it may not help you avoid hitting a deer directly, adding a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, allows you time to react should they need to brake for one.
  • Seat belt: Most serious injuries in deer accidents occur when a seat belt was not used. Make sure to buckle up.
  • Flash Lights & Blow Horn: Deer can become transfixed on steady lights approaching. If you come across one in the road, slow down, flash your lights at them and try honking your horn to scare them away.
  • Be aware of high risk deer areas: It’s possible to find deer in urban areas but they’re found most in rural surroundings. Be alert on countryside roads and especially where Deer Crossing warning signs have been placed.
  • Drive in center lane when available: The center lane of the highway gives more room between a deer on the side of the road and your moving vehicle. That room could make all the difference between an accident and driving on safely.
  • Brake firmly but do not swerve: Swerving to avoid a deer could cause a head-on collision with another car or cause your vehicle to leave the road.  Instead brake firmly to avoid or lessen impact.

What To Do If You Hit A Deer

  1. Pull to the side of the road.
  2. Turn on hazards.
  3. Do not approach the deer.
  4. Call police if there are injuries, damage to your vehicle or if the animal is a danger to other motorists on the road.
  5. Contact insurance company as soon as possible to report damage and schedule repairs.
  6. Take pictures if possible for making a claim.

Often times, insurance companies will make recommendations on which body shop to use for your repairs.  While they can offer these suggestions, it’s important to remember that you’re able to choose for yourself where you’d like to have your vehicle repaired.  This applies to your car rental as well.  Broadmoor Motors works closely with Dutton Auto Body, Koenes Auto Body, Impact Collision, O’neils Body Shop, Kevin’s Body Shop and Ed’s Body Shop.  We offer direct billing for car rental to those companies who allow it, and can even provide a vehicle right to many body shops in the Grand Rapids area.  Broadmoor Motors is your local, family owned & operated choice for Car Rental and Car Sales in Caledonia and the greater Grand Rapids area.

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