Avoiding Deer While Riding Your Motorcycle
The recent video posted by Heather Leigh (seen below) of an elk chasing her motorcycle is quite amusing but elk, deer, moose and other large (and small) animals can cause a lot of damage and injury for many motorcycle riders.
Deer are the third most commonly struck object, behind other vehicles and fixed objects, and over 74 percent of those deer-vehicle crashes involve personal injury. Vehicle-deer crashes can also be costly, resulting in an average insurance claim of $2,100.
There are things you can do to prevent being one of these costly statistics.
Before taking to the road;
· Practice your braking and swerving techniques. Be sure to practice braking hard, then releasing the brakes and swerving.
· Add good, powerful driving lights since 90 percent of vehicle-deer crashes occur between dusk and dawn.
· Plan for the unexpected-wear protective gear all the time.
While you are riding;
· Slow down. Give yourself time to react after seeing a deer.
· Use high-beam headlights and your additional driving light when possible
· Cover your brakes.
· Ride in a staggered formation when riding with a group. This will lessen the chance of involving other riders if one person hits a deer.
If you notice a deer in or near your path;
· Brake firmly. Be ready to stop completely if necessary.
· If time allows, flash your headlights to possibly break the spell that causes deer to freeze in the road.
· Give your horn one long blast
Swerving to avoid colliding with a deer can pose other dangers such as, hitting an on-coming vehicle or tree on the roadside. Hitting the deer straight up and in control of your motorcycle might be the better of other bad options.
You are most likely to encounter deer in dips in the road where there are brooks or swamps. Deer also inhabit green spaces in cities to escape suburban over-crowding, and where there is one deer, there are sure to be more.
Deer activity is highest in the evening or early morning. On hot, muggy nights, the deer head out of the woods to escape mosquitos.
When driving at night, scan the edges of your headlight pattern for movement and eye reflection. Be wary of “winking” road reflectors that could be deer eyes or “twinkling” headlights that could be legs of deer intersecting the headlight beams.
Deer pose a threat to motorcyclists because they are so hard to predict, and there is no sure way to eliminate your risk of a motorcycle-deer collision. However, being prepared, practicing your reaction techniques and making responsible decisions will greatly reduce your risk of hitting a deer.
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®