Deer-vehicle collisions

How can I reduce my chances of hitting a deer with my vehicle?

deer sign

It is important to slow down in areas deer are known to frequent, and keep your eyes on high alert, especially at night.

If you see one deer, slow down; they are rarely alone, and others may follow behind or dart out in your path last minute. It is important to note that headlights will confuse deer and may cause them to freeze or act unpredictably.

Young deer may not recognize vehicles as a threat. Additionally, their hooves can slip on slick pavement and fall in front of your vehicle when attempting to jump away.

Take note of deer crossing signs, and non-permanent warning signs like the one pictured here that have been put up by concerned community members in areas deer are especially abundant. If you would like to put up a sign in your community to reduce the risk of a collision, you can order one here.

If a collision with a deer seems imminent:

Remove your foot from the accelerator and brake lightly. But—and this is critical—keep a firm hold on the steering wheel while keeping the vehicle straight. Do not swerve in an attempt to miss the deer. Insurance adjusters claim that more car damage and personal injury is caused when drivers attempt to avoid collision with a deer and instead collide with guardrails or roll down grades.

What do I do once the collision has occurred?

If the worst occurs and you do hit the deer with your vehicle, you have a couple of options depending on your specific situation:

1. The deer is an adult, and is badly injured or unresponsive.

It is important to pull over and call the local police or BC Conservation Officer Service. If the deer is mobile but badly injured, be sure to tell them the last location it was seen, the direction it was headed, and what was injured.

2. The deer is a young fawn, and is injured or unresponsive.

In the case that the deer is a fawn, it may have a chance at being rehabilitated with the proper medical care. In this case, first call the BC SPCA’s Wild Arc, as they take fawns into care. The Wildlife Rehabber that you will speak to will talk you through the steps of care and transport of the animal. You may be asked to transport the fawn to a nearby veterinary hospital. If it is a confirmed death, you can call local police or the BC Conservation Officer Service to notify them in dealing with the body.

BC Conservation Officer Service: 1-877-952-7277

BC SPCA Wild Arc: (250) 478-9453