5 ways to avoid injuries in NJ roadway deer collisions
Everything about this time of the year New Jersey is so lovely: the weather, the autumn breeze, the leaves turning beautiful colors. Oh-but I almost forgot that one annoying and inevitable aspect of life in New Jersey at this time of year: Deer.
And their frenzy during the “rut” or mating period. This causes them to run around aimlessly, dart into the road, and quite often slam into your car or allow your car to slam into them and possibly have one of you end up as Garden State roadkill.
There are some strategies, however, that the New Jersey Department of Transportation publishes regarding how to avoid deer accidents. I’m pretty skeptical about them however, since even though they are billed as “ways to keep New Jersey motorists safe”, they don’t really tell you how to avoid the accident, but just how to deal with the inevitable when it happens.
Every year they come up with these lists, and they really only serve to give you a false sense of security. It’s not that they don’t mean well, but everyone knows there is no way to avoid hitting a deer.
So here are the five ways ways the New Jersey Department of Transportation gives you to avoid being injured in a deer collision. Oh yeah, and my snarky responses.
1.) If a collision appears inevitable, do not swerve to avoid impact. The deer may counter-maneuver suddenly. Brake firmly, but stay in your lane. Collisions are more likely to become fatal when a driver swerves to avoid a deer and instead collides with oncoming traffic or a fixed structure along the road.
Me: Who has time to decide if this careening disaster “appears inevitable?" This reminds me of the turn into the skid advice they always give you what human being could resist the natural impulse to swerve away from a 500 pound object/beast?
2.) If you are traveling after dark, use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. High beams will be reflected by the eyes of deer on or near roads.
Me: So you can see them better before you smash into them?
3.) Always wear a seatbelt, as required by law. Drive at a safe and sensible speed, taking into account weather, available lighting, traffic, curves and other road conditions.
Me: So when the deer DOES smash through your windshield on the driver side you can make sure the seat belt holds you still and the deer hits you squarely in the face.
4.) Report any deer-vehicle collision to a local law enforcement.
Me: If you’re still alive.
5.) If you spot a deer, slow down and pay attention to possible sudden movement. If the deer doesn't move, don't go around it. Wait for the deer to pass and the road is clear.
Me: Or, Alternatively, you can turn around, forget about wherever you were going, And return to the safety of your home.
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