CRASH! How to avoid hitting deer on the road


Maybe I should title this ‘What NOT to do when seeing deer on the road’ But it all is pretty much the same thing. 

Yesterday I needed to head into town to pick up a few things for the kids lunch today. So I asked who wanted to come along for the drive and my 5 year old was the only one. It was just before 5pm and the sun was still out. Starting to snow a bit but not too bad. Hubs had the truck and I was left with a car, a small car that we actually are borrowing until ours is fixed . Little one tried convincing me why she could sit in the front seat and I held strong and placed her in the back set. Strapped her in and drove down our country road towards town. 

We were not even 2 kms away from our house on our road and I could see a deer off in the distance.  A big Buck running from the left side of the road to the right. I was already going under the speed limit as the roads were not really great. But seeing him made me slow down even more. I am glad I did. As we approached where I saw him, 2 minutes later-3 large female deer came running across the road.  They came from the direction he went in and were in a line, one by one. 

Trying not to panic I just let the car coast as stepping on the break was surely going to cause me to skid and slide on the icy road. 

Remembering a deer we hit that totaled our car over twelve years ago, I knew I did not want to hit one of these.  These deer towered over the tiny car and I was worried it would be horrible. So as the car got closer and the third deer was directly in front of me, I moved the stirring wheel just a bit. Honestly I am having a bit oa hard time remembering everything. Everything after that was a bit of a fog. The slight movement caused the car to spin out and I found us turned around, facing oncoming traffic. The back end of the car was in a ditch and the rest of the car jammed up against a snowbank. Good and bad, being a country road there was not much oncoming traffic.

Immediately I asked my LO if she was okay. She said yes and asked when we would be going to the store. Obviously she was fine.

But not me. I was a big bag of nerves and kept going over and over what I should have done. What I did and just thought how happy I was we were both ok. Happy we did not hit a deer.

I called my husband so he knew what was happening. He said he was on his way from work and would be there soon. While on the phone with him, a lady stopped and offered me help. She went around the corner where she lives and picked up her dad. Along with the only other person who stopped to check on us (8 cars and 4 trucks drove by) They dug out the car and gave us a push onto the road. As the car was pushed out of the ditch we noticed the back tire was flat. Luckily hubs was 5 minutes away and was able to change it before it got dark. 

The rest of the night all I kept thinking about was how bad it could have been. The deer around here have been known to do some major damage. Sending people who have hit them to the emergency room. 

It seems the fact I was driving on a country road near farm fields as the snow started just before dusk , was a bad time. This is when the deer are active and most likely to be moving across the roads. 

Remember what you were taught when you were learning to drive –> If You See A Deer, Don’t Swerve Not even a little bit or you will have the same problems I had. 

Another tip I know, and was actually watching for–> If you see one deer, slow down. Chances are there are more as they travel in packs. 

All else fails, hit it 🙁 Sad, but if on a busy road and you have no choice it may be the best option. 

If you see wildlife on the road:

•brake firmly and stop as fast as you safely can
•never swerve suddenly – your vehicle could go out of control and lead to an even more serious crash than the one you faced with the animal ahead
•wait for wildlife to walk out of your way – don’t assume animals will move out or your way as soon as you hit the breaks
•proceed with caution at reduced speed once all the animals you can see have cleared the road – where there is one deer or moose, there may be more

Most importantly, if hitting an animal is unavoidable, do your best to stay in control of your vehicle. If you can do so, you will maximize your chances of avoiding a larger accident with your car still moving.

You can find more information and tips at Watch for Wildlife 

Drive safe! 


  1. I know how you feel. Couple years ago, I was driving under the init near the US/Ontario border (I was in the US side) around midnight & hit a deer. It was so dark & I only see it when it was right in front of the car & there is car behind me. Braked & still hit the poor thing. The bumper was hitting the floor.

  2. multitestingmommy says

    How scary! I can't believe more people didn't stop to help you!
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