So today I was travelling to work in my car, I was happily travelling on a 60mph road when out of nowhere I clocked a deer to my right about to make that crazy dash to the other side. A quick check in my rear view mirror I hit the brakes narrowly avoiding the deer which luckily run off to safety.
It then made me think If I had being riding a motorbike would I have had the same type of reaction? And what would happen if I actually hit one? I then decided to look into this a little bit more
May/June and October/November are the most you need to beaware of the risk of hitting deer on the road. This is during the rutting season and time of year when young deer disperse from their breeding areas. It’s sad to see around 40,000 to 75,000 deer are killed in collisions on the roads every year.
From such a collision A disproportionate number of those fatalities are motorcyclists, while only 2% of car-deer collisions were fatal to humans, 84.9% of the motorcycle-deer crashes involved human fatalities.
Some important safety guides which might just save your life!……….
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path. Be ready to stop completely if necessary.
- If time allows, flip off your high beams or flash your headlights. This may break the spell that seems to cause deer to freeze in the road; or, alternatively, it may cause the deer to freeze at the roadside.
- Slow down until you know what the deer is going to do.
- Blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away, but don’t count on it.
- Deer pose a life-threatening hazard to motorcyclists, and colliding with a deer while in a swerve is significantly more dangerous than colliding while in a straight-up position and in complete control.
If you choose to swerve, know your abilities and know that the path you will swerve to is clear. Hitting the deer straight up and in control might be the better of two bad options. If a deer crosses your path, brake hard, swerve only if necessary and, above all, maintain control.
There certainly is no single way to reduce the risk of motorcycle and deer crashes. Deer pose a significant hazard to motorcyclists because they are so difficult to predict; however, just like every other hazard motorcyclist face, being prepared, knowing how to act, having the skill to act, and making responsible decisions will reduce the risk associated with deer.
I found a few videos on YouTube showing motorcycle’s hitting deer at speeds. Whilst the Harley rider stayed on his bike, the second video also shows what can happen in these circumstances
Warning (animal were injured in the making of these videos)