Tuesday, Jan 8th, I had to work at 10. I woke up early that morning, which was really hard since I was still recovering from the gather, and headed out to start collecting. I had noticed tons of tracks but couldn't help but notice deer tracks following the tracks left by humans. I collected 6 boxes and had to go to work them. When work was over at 4, I went out and voted for the primary, and then went to grab the remaining boxes. I was going to collect first then vote, but something drew me to do the opposite. But either way, I was driving to where I needed to go when around a corner I went and 3 deer were in the road. I had plenty of time to slow down as then jumped into the woods, out of sight. Now I have seen deer before, but not that many at one time. It was pretty cool. I parked my car in the lot provided and began to search for my boxes. More deer tracks. If it wasn't clear earlier, it was clear now. With the warmer weather in place, the deer are now out and about. All 5 boxes were now collected in this location and the daylight was growing weak. I started driving back down the road, careful to drive slowly through the area where I had seen the 3 deer earlier. The end of the road was now in sight so I sped up a bit to shorten my drive time, but no sooner than did I speed up, a deer came running out of someones driveway and almost hit the side of my car before turning and jumping into the woods. Of course, I had slammed on the brakes and everything in the front seat went to the floor. Visions of an accident I had many years ago with a deer began to rush back into my head. I needed to go home after that, but not before collecting the rest of the boxes.
Sunday, Jan 13th, I head to Vermont every Sunday to see my 2 other kids, through a prior marriage. Long story which I might dwell on later. Anyhow, I was driving up through an area that I really like and dislike. I dislike the area, because I got a speeding ticket through this area a couple of years ago. Not really a good reason to dislike the area, but oh well. So this area has a rather large rock outcropping that I find rather cool. This is why I like this area, and now like it even more. While driving through this particular time, there was a buck standing on the outcropping. He stood there tall and strong, watching the cars drive by. I tried to point him out to Sarah, but she wasn't paying attention. I have this knack for noticing things that others might not. But there he was. It kinda worried me because he was on the inside of the highway. At some point he was going to have to cross the highway and go somewhere else. Not a good thought. Glad I'm not a deer. Let me skip ahead a few hours, when I am not driving home from Vermont. Of course, driving through this area again, which looks much different heading the other way and much less cooler, I began to worry about the buck. Would I see him again, this time watching me drive home? No I didn't see him, which could be a good thing, BUT a mile down the road, sure enough I saw 2 more deer gathered by the inside of the highway. Someone should tell the deer that inside is bad!
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are about 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year that result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, about 150 human fatalities, and over 10,000 personal injuries. In an insurance claims statistics study conducted in 2004-2005 the top ten states for deer accidents were listed. According to this study, Pennsylvania drivers experience more deer collisions than any other state. So to avoid accidents with deer, here are 4 tips you should keep in mind while driving.
1) Be attentive when driving! And Slow Down!
2) Use high-beam headlights when driving in deer territory to increase your vision and will increase your time to react to a deer hiding on the roadside who decides to jump in front of your car.
3) The use of car-mounted 'deer whistles,' do not seem to affect deer and may result in drivers being less aware. These devices don't work! Watch out!
4) If a collision with a deer is unavoidable, it is usually best not to swerve to avoid it, brake and hold the wheel straight. Turning the wheel to avoid the deer may result in a worse accident with another car, or cause the car to spin out of control resulting a in much more serious crash.
So with so many deer out there, hopefully using these tips, or staying home which makes it harder to letterbox, we can all be a little safer while driving. But then of course, there are tons of other things we should all be worried about while driving too! But that's another time. Drive safely!
Accident info and safe driving tips taken from