Two Holden County, Missouri residents were injured early Monday morning in a collision with a deer. Rachel D. Wise, 36, who was driving on Southwest 1501 Road swerved to avoid a deer in the road but lost control of her vehicle. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol report, the vehicle drove off of the left side of the road, hit an embankment, and turned over. Our prayers go out to both individuals injured in this Holden County Missouri car accident.
Preventative Tips for Avoiding Deer on the Roadway:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, collisions between cars and deer are responsible for around 150 deaths and over a billion dollars in property damage every year. There are several action steps that drivers can take to reduce their chances of an unwanted encounter. Here’s a list of common sense do’s and don'ts:
1. Know when deer are most active and are likely to be in the roadways. Deer are most likely to be in exposed areas near both dusk and dawn. Obviously, you may see them at other times in the day or night, but those are typically their peak hours to be present in exposed areas.
2. Be a defensive driver. Slow down on the roads, and always observe the speed limit. The more conservative than you are with your vehicle’s speed, the more time you will have to brake if an animal runs into your path.
3. Know where the deer live. Deer aren’t just in rural areas, they can populate nearly anywhere where there are wooded areas. Missouri is actually one of Car Star’s top 10 “Deer Danger States.”
4. Use your high beams anytime the road is free of oncoming traffic. This increases your visibility and gives you more time to react. Deer are often frightened by bright lights, so if you see one in your path, flash your lights or honk your horn to scare them out of the road.
5. If you’re driving in a multi-lane road, always try to drive in the center lane, so that you give as much space as possible to the grazing deer.
Encountering a deer:
1. Try not to swerve to avoid a deer in the roadway. Swerving can cause the deer to become confused about which direction to run, or worse, could cause a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle.
2. Deer are very unpredictable animals. A deer that appears to be standing calmly on the side of the road could leap in front of your car at a moment’s notice. So, slowing down when you see a deer near the road is always the best way to avoid a collision. If a deer does move into your path, maintain control of your vehicle, and do your best to brake to give the deer time to move.
3. Always wear a seat belt. Most severe injuries that result from a collision with a deer or large animal stem from not wearing a seat belt.
4. If you do collide with a deer or large animal, call emergency services for any injuries, or the local police if damage has been caused to your vehicle. Do not touch or tend to the animal, instead let the police or emergency responders take care of it.
Ultimately, knowing what to do when you encounter a large animal on or near the road can be a lifesaver. Keeping calm, slowing down, and driving smart can help you avoid a collision and stay safe on the road.