Iowa is one of the best places in the country for wildlife habitat. This includes woodland animals like deer. While deer can be cute, they pose a significant safety risk to drivers and their vehicles.
Only three states saw more deer-related accidents in 2017 than Iowa. From Summer 2017 to Summer 2018, 1-in-73 Iowan drivers hit a deer.
Collisions with deer can be serious. Deer damage can total vehicles and cause coolant and transmission fluids to leak. Attempting to drive after hitting a deer could cause your vehicle’s engine to overheat and sustain further damage.
Deer-related not only hurt the animal but they can pose a danger to humans, too. It’s not only possible for the driver to suffer an injury but human fatalities can occur in deer-related accidents.
What to do if you hit a deer?
Avoiding deer can be difficult since they’re fast, especially in the dark when it seems like they come out of nowhere. Here are a few things you can do to avoid deer crashes and what to do if you collide with a deer:
- Don’t swerve. Your first instinct may be to swerve to avoid the deer but doing so could cause you to lose control and veer into other vehicles or things like trees. This is a common reason for deer-related crashes turning fatal.
- Prepare your vehicle. Making sure your vehicle’s prepared to avoiding a deer. You should make sure things like your headlights and brakes are in proper working order.
- Take extra caution in the dark. Deer thrive during the evening and early mornings when the sun is low. Unfortunately, this makes them harder to see. This is a good time to reduce your speed decrease your stopping distance in case a deer runs in front of your vehicle.
Living in Iowa, you’re almost as likely to be involved in a deer-related car crash as you are being born a twin in North America (1-in-90). This means that you need to take extra caution on the roads this fall and keep an eye out for deer, especially when driving in the dark.