Ask a Trooper: Don’t veer for deerQ: How about an article on hitting a deer and what to do? Have you had one of those lately with deer season coming up?
Q: How about an article on hitting a deer and what to do? Have you had one of those lately with deer season coming up?
A: Great timing! Yes, we normally talk about this every year about this time. Drivers need to be aware that we are seeing a lot more deer “on the run” right now, and more are starting to get hit. Slow down when you get to an area with trees on either or both sides of the road, and watch for deer! We are seeing some bears getting hit now too.
When you see a deer, slow down even more, but never “veer for deer.” We want to avoid head-on crashes and rollover crashes just because someone was avoiding a deer. It is best to get your speed down as far as possible and just hit the deer. If you see the deer up ahead, you can try honking your horn and usually the deer will clear the road.
Always watch for more deer too. Try not to slam on your brakes, especially in traffic. Deer seem to react better to sudden noises, rather than loud or ongoing steady noises, which is one reason why deer whistles are not all that effective, as they are constant.
Some deer are on a “hot run” and seem to come out of nowhere. Those are the ones that are the most difficult to avoid, and most of the time it seems we can’t. You can still be better protected by always wearing the seat belt, driving attentively, giving proper reaction to any situation, especially watching for deer. Thanks for asking.
Q: Recently my car was rear-ended as I was waiting my turn to merge onto another road. Sky was clear, and roads were dry. The officer noted that the damage to each of the cars appeared light, but didn’t give the guy a citation! The other driver admitted fault. I spent time in the emergency room getting checked out for headache and shoulder pain, and have another doctor appointment scheduled for my shoulder pain. I have gotten an estimate for the bumper replacement, so obviously there was damage to the car. My question is this: Why didn’t the officer issue the other driver a citation for inattentive driving? I thought if someone drives into another car it would be an automatic citation. Does this mean that I could rear-end someone’s car and not get a ticket either? It seems like the other driver got to merrily go on his way, while I am trying to get things treated and fixed!
P.S. His insurance company will be billed for the expenses, but I feel he still got off with no consequence.
A: Your question really needs be directed to the department of the officer. Contact that department and ask for a supervisor and discuss the issue with them, explaining everything you did here. I can’t second-guess another officer or department on their actions, especially when I wasn’t there. There may be more to this than what you and I are aware of.
I do know that generally, troopers are aware of these types of issues and do try to cite whenever possible.
Local prosecutors have a huge influence, too, on charging decisions in many cases and department policy also plays a huge role as well.
For people who are upset about getting cited in a crash, this is a classic case of why we do issue them.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.
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