This afternoon as we were driving back from the farm we saw two deer run across the road. Fortunately they were far enough ahead of us that we didn’t have to slow down, but my husband said, “When you talk to the girls remind them that it is rutting season”.
The girls have heard this term before as every year since they have been driving we give them the warning. Rutting or mating season means an increase in deer activity. The deer are often running at full speed, a male chasing a female, and have no awareness of, or regard for, traffic in the area. So when we tell the girls that it is rutting season we warn them to be extra carful when driving.
What should they do to be extra careful?
- Focus on driving. Do not allow yourself to become distracted by passengers, eating, cell phones or anything else.
- Scan from right to left taking in as much of the area as you can.
- Slow down, especially if you are in an area where you cannot see far off to the side of the road.
- Use bright lights when driving at night if there is not oncoming traffic.
- If a deer runs in front of you DON’T SWERVE. Swerving increases the risk of hitting oncoming traffic, trees or other objects, or even losing control and rolling the vehicle. It is better to slow your car down as much as possible to try to avoid, or at least lessen, the impact.
While these are practices that we should all use every time we drive, reality is we don’t, and sometimes it’s good to have a reminder.
Please drive safe.