Deer in the Headlights: Avoiding Animal-Motorcycle Collisions

animal collisions

Nearly hitting (or colliding with) an animal on the road is a nerve-racking experience. The fact is, animal-vehicle collisions are sad, dangerous and costly. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in 150 human deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and more than $1 billion in vehicle damages.

Drivers need to use caution and remain alert to avoid becoming involved in a collision with wildlife.

How to avoid an animal collision

The following tips are from AAA.

  • Scan the road and shoulders ahead of you.
    • Looking ahead helps provide enough reaction time if an animal is spotted.
    • Also, remember some animals move in groups. When there is one, there are usually more in the area.
  • Use your brights if there is no oncoming traffic.
    • Wildlife may be spotted sooner when using high beams. This will give you time to slow down, move over or honk the horn to scare the animal(s) away.
    • High beams also help in spotting some animals’ reflective eyes.
  • If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane.
    • Swerving to avoid an animal can often cause a more serious crash or result in drivers losing control of vehicles.
  • Use extra caution at dawn and dusk.
    • Most animals, especially deer, tend to be more active early in the morning and at dusk.
  • Remain awake, alert and sober.
    • This ensures you are in the right state of mind to react accordingly.

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