Deer and drivers: What to do when you’re about to hit one

“To swerve or not to swerve? That is the question,” according to Leeds County OPP.

Spoiler: Don’t swerve.

Officers in the Brockville-area detachment have mopped up a string of recent car versus deer crashes. No humans were hurt, but police still offered some advice for motorists in a release:

  • Be especially on guard from sunset to midnight and around dusk and dawn, the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions. Drive with caution in areas with large deer populations and remember that deer seldom run alone.
  • When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic because they better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
  • If you spot a deer, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten them away.
  • Brake firmly, but stay in your lane if there’s a deer in or near your path because many serious crashes happen when a driver swerves to avoid a deer and hits another vehicle or loses control.
  • Buckle up. Most people hurt in car-deer collisions weren’t wearing their seatbelts.
  • Don’t reply on deer whistles, fences and reflectors to deter deer.

“Slow down, stay in control and stay alert,” police said, noting that any collision with results in injury to a driver or passenger or damage of more than $2,000 must be reported.


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