How to Avoid Hitting a Deer While Driving

This article provides a foolproof method on how to avoid hitting a deer while driving.

| April/May 2000

  • How to avoid hitting a deer
    A deer tends to veer away from any dark object chasing it.

  • How to avoid hitting a deer

Learn about a helpful method on how to avoid hitting a deer while driving. 

The loss of Wilson Clark, the environmental/energy specialist who died in a car crash when he swerved to avoid hitting a dear, is lamentable. Perhaps this tip on how to avoid hitting a deer can help others avoid a similar fate. A deer tends to veer away from any dark object chasing it. Since its shadow — cast by the headlights of the approaching vehicle — is no exception to this rule, the animal will often turn toward the oncoming car. The way to change such an encounter from dangerous to merely scary, then, is to turn off your lights and blow your horn. The deer will decamp in the opposite direction with amazing speed rather than freezing in the lights (so you can turn your lights back on immediately). Using this idea while traveling Wisconsin and Minnesota roads, I've experienced many scares . . . but no damage to deer, my car or myself.

—Norman Weston
Minneapolis, MN
(Country Lore, February 1984)

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