The other day, as I was driving home from work on the parkway late at night, it was just starting to get dark. Standing right on the side of the road were two deer, just standing there, apparently watching the traffic go by, frozen. 

Deer Crossing Road

I approached them so quickly that if they had jumped out into my lane, there would have been absolutely nothing I could have done to avoid them. 

You may have had a similar experience or, unfortunately, may have been in an accident with one of them. It was one of those heart-racing moments where your adrenaline kicks in a little bit.

In New Jersey, we are still in the midst of deer mating season, which runs from about mid-October to mid-December. So, be extra vigilant when driving, especially from dusk to dawn.

Deer on the edge of the road just before vehicle

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, there are over 15,000 deer-to-vehicle accidents every year, which when talking to the experts can cause anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 in damage to your vehicle.

NJ Transportation Planning Authority Reminds Us To Be Alert

A couple of things that we can do to mitigate the risk of hitting a deer, according to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, are:

  • Slow down: If you see one deer, there is a good chance many more are in the area.
  • Don't swerve out of your lane: Swerving can likely cause more damage and potentially involve more vehicles.
  • Keep your headlights clean: When possible, use your high beams, especially if there is no incoming traffic.
  • Pay attention to "Deer Crossing" signs: Slow down when traveling through areas with a high concentration of deer, so you will have plenty of time to stop.
  • Don't tailgate: Remember, the driver in front of you might have to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a deer.
  • Always use your seatbelt: It could be a lifesaver.

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