Avoiding close encounters of the road kind

One of the enduring joys for those of us lucky enough to live in the Greater Victoria area is the abundance of green space and wildlife in our community, whether birds, deer or other creatures. But being surrounded by nature requires a different level of awareness than in your typical urban-area concrete jungle.

That’s especially true this time of year when fawns are trailing behind their mothers, in some cases following long-established deer trails, exuberantly oblivious to the dangers of the road.

Hitting a deer, whether a doe, a fawn or a buck, is an upsetting experience for the occupants of a car and any witnesses. No one likes to see an animal suffer, injure themselves or damage their vehicles as a result of a collision.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of a vehicle-deer collision. Remember that deer movements are unpredictable. Watch for our “Caution – Expect Deer” lawn signs or provincial deer crossing signs. Particularly at dawn and dusk – prime time for deer:

  • Slow down and scan ahead.
  • When you see one deer, expect more! Does are likely to have 1-3 fawns following.
  • Remember, fawns run after their mothers with no thought to traffic.
  • Stopping your vehicle is safest when one deer crosses— wait to see if there are more to come.
  • Alert other drivers by flashing your lights or putting out your hand as a stop signal.
  • If a vehicle ahead is stopped and it’s not clear why — stop! It might be waiting for a fawn, pet or pedestrian to cross.
  • Deer are easily spooked, especially by dogs, and can leap out unexpectedly— be aware of the road side. Honking only spooks a deer further. 

Learn more about how to avoid a deer-vehicle collision, and what to do if you're involved in one.

Get a "Caution - Expect Deer" sign for your lawn.

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