A Fast and Furry Guide to Avoiding Animals On the Road

traffic safety

You're a deer. Now, OK, I know that sounds weird but just stick with me. It's a nice day out. Your rear left hoof was sore yesterday but now it feels great. You just saw a yellow butterfly alight upon a sunflower-like an angel with shining wings. The birds are singing. Everything is perfect, except... the grass could be a little greener.

And it is! You can see that beautiful, green rolling meadow right over there. Sure, there's this weird gray strip between here and there, like a dry riverbed with a yellow stripe through the middle of it. But who cares, just look at that grass! So you run for it. Your hooves pound warm soil as you bound gracefully for your goal and then they land on something considerably harder. You dash across that gray space, and, before you can even lookup, here comes something fast and big and the last thing you see is the word 'Ford.' The end. 

This tragedy affects everyone. A deer child is Bambi'ed. The Ford is seriously damaged and the driver is injured and forever traumatized because they really love deer. It's sad, it's costly, and, importantly, it was completely avoidable. Here are a few tips to make sure you don't end up mourning the deer you never knew and the repair bill you wish you'd never known. 

 The Simple One: Pay Attention

It's easy to become complacent when driving, especially in rural areas where there's not much going on. You might start to think 'wow, I don't have to pay attention to anything.' OK, that's unlikely. But you might start to allow yourself to play with the radio, or look at all your beautiful surroundings and not on the road. 

Simply put, the best way to avoid hitting animals like deer, squirrels, cats, and dogs is to pay close attention to the road. It's one of the fundamentals of driving and it could save you from guilt, costly repairs, injury, or even death.

Driving in the Dark

Thanks to Bruce Springsteen, we all know about Dancing in the Dark. But what about Driving in the Dark? Where were you on that one, "Boss?" Too busy taking the wrong road and keeping ongoing, I guess. 

While we might not have a convenient explanatory rock song, avoiding animals at night can be accomplished by following a few simple rules. 

First, use your high beams whenever you can do so without distracting other drivers. The increased visibility is extremely valuable when watching out for animals. Second, look out for glowing eyes on the side of the road or even on the road. Finally, if you are traveling with a passenger, ask them to help you watch out. Two sets of eyes are better than one, especially at night. 

Mind the Signs

Animal crossing signs alert you to the potential presence of animals such as deer. When you see one, be on high alert, even if you haven't personally seen animals in a particular area. These signs are there to save the lives of animals and people alike. 

Share the Road

When we think about sharing the road, our minds immediately go to other drivers. However, it's worth remembering that we live in a world filled with all kinds of animals. While they have no practical use for our roads, they do have to cross them from time to time. 

 

By staying aware of animals and doing our best to avoid them, we can ensure that they cross safely and that we get where we're going without hitting them. So, the next time you see an animal crossing sign, think like a deer. And also like a smart, careful, human driver. OK, mostly that second one. Pretending to be a deer might not help.