We have all had a close call with a deer or multiple deer seeming to come out of nowhere, even if we are familiar with spotting them in certain areas. It can be scary and very dangerous. For whitetail deer the most active times typically occur around dawn and dusk, and also if you see one chances are there are more close behind.

Even though I have lived in Duluth for over two decades I still to this day cannot get used to seeing them on the side of the road or prancing across the street, but it is a way of life and so far knock on wood I have been able to avoid them.

Except for one time years ago when I was on London Road when a huge pack of deer came running across the street including some very small fawns. I hit the breaks and heard a thud on the back passenger side of my vehicle. I pulled over to the side of the road and saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground. He or she ran right into my door. I hopped out and fortunately there were not any cars coming. They had their eyes open as I pleaded for them to get up. Thankfully they hopped up and ran off, I guess they just got their bell rung but seemed fine. I am such a baby, I started crying because I was so happy that they were o.k.

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According to the latest data from Sate Farm the months drivers are most likely to collide with an animal in the U.S. are: 1. November 2. October and 3. December. Of the top ten states most likely to have a collision with an animal Wisconsin came in #6 where you have a 1 in 56 chance of hitting an animal on the road. Minnesota came in #9 you have a 1in 58 chance of hitting an animal. According to State Farm:

Here are some animal Collision Safety Tips:
  • Slow down.  Reduce your vehicle's speed and maintain a constant lookout for animals. Travel at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if an animal comes into the beam cast by your headlights
  • Use extra caution and slow-down in known animal crossing zones.
  • Dusk to dawn are high-risk times; use high beams when appropriate.
  • Scan the road and avoid swerving when you see an animal. Brake firmly when you notice an animal in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
Tips in case you do hit an animal:
  • Move your vehicle to a safe place: Pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Call police: If an animal is blocking traffic and could be create a threat for other drivers.
  • Document: Take photographs of the road, your surroundings and damage.
  • Stay away from the animal: A frightened, wounded animal could use its legs and hooves to harm you. Do not attempt to move an animal.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive: Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights and other hazard.
  • Contact your insurance company: Quickly file your insurance claim

Most of us are familiar with all of these recommendations but honestly the one thing that I am really bad about is swerving to avoid an animal instead of keeping my vehicle straight. The other day on my way to work I literally had a baby bunny running along the side of my car for around 2 blocks as I crawled along the side street trying to avoid from it running in front of my car. We live in a beautiful part of the country where we are surrounded by wildlife of all kinds so just stay alert and stay safe!

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