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the view from the car dashboard of a deer standing in the road

Should I Hit the Deer?

What to Do When There’s a Deer in the Road

The Oklahoma Insurance Department reports collisions involving deer are much more common during the fall months. September is the start of deer mating season, making them much more active in rural areas. This increase in presence means that drivers are much more likely to encounter a deer on the road—and this can put them at significant risk of a serious crash.

Knowing how to react when a deer gets in the way is essential for keeping all drivers safe. Here is what every motorist should know.

Stay Safe, Don’t Swerve

The natural instinct when a deer runs into the road is to swerve to avoid hitting it. However, this can put drivers into much more danger. Swerving increases the likelihood of losing control of the vehicle, puts the driver into oncoming traffic or into dangerous terrain, and may even cause a rollover accident. Instead, hitting the deer head-on is one of the safest things a driver can do in this scenario.

It’s Okay to Hit the Deer

When there isn’t much time to react to the deer in the road, drivers should avoid slamming on the brakes. This puts the vehicle in a “nose down” position, which can make it more likely that the deer will hit the windshield. While common advice is to brake hard before reaching the deer and then release the brake right before hitting it, drivers may be better off not using the brakes at all.

After hitting the deer, the driver should pull over and assess the vehicle for damages. It’s important to not try to approach the deer, as they may become aggressive and lash out, causing injury.

If the driver can spot the deer ahead and has time to react to it, they should:

  • Flash their headlights or “brights.”
  • Honk—this usually scares the deer and they’ll move out of the way.
  • Slow down and proceed with caution—where there is one deer, there are likely more.

Oklahoma Car Accident Attorneys

Crashes can have serious consequences for everyone involved. When you’re injured in a collision caused by another driver’s negligence, we can help you pursue justice. Schedule a free consultation with Martin Jean & Jackson today by calling .