A co-worker recently told me of a great ride he had last week along the St. Croix river while admiring the fall colors and enjoying the crisp fall air. He said:
“The ride was amazing, but the last 10 miles home were terrifying! There were dozens of deer right at the edge of the road and in the middle of the road. I had to ride at 30mph to avoid hitting them. It was scary.”
I have a similar experience on my return trip from Indianapolis with the deer right on the edge of I-94. I slowed way down to give my headlight a chance to see them. I even saw a deer in the city on my way to work last week. A motorcycle rarely wins with a deer.
Our state safety coordinator sent out this infographic, and I thought it was timely and worth a share. It’s the motorcycle-deer crash stats for ‘91-‘12:
They also had some safety tips to share for both motorcycles and cars.
Motorcyclist Safety Tips:
- Avoid night and low-light riding periods (dusk and dawn) when deer are more active.
- When encountering deer, use both brakes to stop. If riders cannot stop in time, swerve carefully and slowly around the deer if there is space.
- If a collision cannot be avoided, keep head and eyes up to improve chances of keeping the bike up.
- Wear protective gear, especially a DOT-approved helmet.
Motorist Safety Tips:
- Buckle up, drive at safe speeds and pay attention — be especially cautious during dusk and dawn when deer are more active.
- Don’t veer for deer — swerving can cause motorists to lose control and travel off the road or into oncoming traffic. Bringing a vehicle to a controlled stop and hitting a deer is safer than swerving.