Monday, November 15, 2010

Drive Safe and Watch Out for Deer on Loudoun's Roadways

The Loudoun County Sheriffs Office cautions motorists to stay alert for deer in the roadways.

Virginia was ranked among the top 10 states in the nation for deer/vehicle collisions in 2009. The vast majority of these collisions occur during the deer breeding season between now and early January.

Motorists should pay close attention and remain alert at all times, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are active and are likely to be seen quickly entering roadways in herds. Other safety tips for motorists include:
  • Deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
  • Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
  • Deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
  • Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles; they may not work.
  • If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle. Do not swerve to miss a deer. This may cause you to lose control of your vehicle, strike a tree or another vehicle or to overturn. 
If you cannot avoid hitting a deer, take the following precautions.
  • Slow down and grasp the steering wheel firmly with both hands.
  • Take your foot off the brake at the time of impact so the front end of your vehicle will lift up and enable the deer to go under the car, rather than over it – reducing the danger of it crashing through the windshield or windows.

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