Deer in the headlights

In the town I live in we have an urban deer herd. It’s existence crates controversy … it also creates vehicle-animal collisions.

In past times the population of animals in the surrounding area was higher but nowadays it’s the in-town population that crates the biggest headaches.
Putting aside the other issues an urban deer herd creates for a moment lets look at the collisions.

The deer are well adapted to be camouflaged in any landscapes that contain local flora. That makes them easy to miss until the last moment.
And in that last moment when you come upon that deer standing by the side of the road what often happens is the deer bolts. And half the time it seems they suicidally bolt in front of your moving vehicle.

But what if you could see them ahead of time? Give you time to slow down and honk to get their attention and provoke a response early enough for you to evade them without endangering yourself or others on the road.

In Scotland they have a similar problem with the sheep being dangers on the roads and some herders have taken to spraying them with fluorescent paint: In some Scandinavian countries they’ve tied reflective tinsel to the reindeer in an effort to make them more visible.

Well in Finland they’re trying reflective paint on the fur and antlers

Sometimes they come out of nowhere and there is no time to do anything. Case in point: the only time I was involved in a deer strike on the highway was on a curve at dusk. My side of the road (going downwards) had just one lane allocated to it. The slope ran downwards away from the road on the right side and there was a continuous abutment on that edge. So any deer on the other side would be on lower ground sloping away and be that much harder to see. Well my luck was to have one of those deer coming bounding over the abutment and run right out in front of me while I was coming down the hill at around 90 Kmh with vehicles coming up behind. You can watch the video and see for yourself. It isn’t sped up so the amount of time you have to see the deer is all the time I had. The deer shows up about 6 seconds into the video. Later around 16 seconds in you can see the other vehicles passing around me in the other lane.

In fact the official advice given out is to NOT try to use drastic measures to evade them on the road because you might then create a worse situation.

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