Fall is right around the corner and with the cooler temperatures and shorter days comes a major influx in deer activity. The mating season for deer falls in line with the autumn months and will see deer far more active than usual as they attempt to find mating partners. As a result, deer will be traveling more, and across motorways more often.
Colliding with a deer is bad enough when you’re in a car, but it is far more disastrous to hit a deer while riding a motorcycle. Where motorists have a large vehicle to take the bulk of the impact from a 150-pound deer, motorcycle riders have little to no protection to help them in such a collision. In fact, roughly 70% of deer collision injuries and fatalities are attributed to motorcyclists.
Considering the high danger posed by this wildlife activity, it’s important for riders to understand how to properly approach these situations. The following are some tips that can help riders avoid these possible situations altogether:
- Try to limit dusk and dawn riding: Deer will be most active then, so limit your riding during these times when possible and proceed with caution should you venture out.
- Know the area: Get familiar with your surroundings and try to avoid areas where deer are most active -- woods and valleys, in particular, are hot spots for deer activity.
- Use high beams: Brighter lights will help you spot reflections of deer’s eyes sooner and can even cause the “deer in headlights” response of freezing up, allowing you to better react and maneuver around them.
- Cover the brake: To ensure that riders are always prepared to stop in the event of a deer encounter.
- Ride staggered: If you’re riding in a group, spreading out the distance between riders will reduce the chance of multiple riders getting involved in a collision.
Deer can be highly erratic and unpredictable during these high-activity months, so riders should always stay cautious and ride defensively during fall. For more relevant news and tips for bikers, we encourage you to check out our Current News for Riders page on hupy.com.