I suspect when you saw the title of this column it took you right back to a family experience or one of your very own. For me it didn’t because it was a first. I have not had problems from deer on the highway ever in my life, but I know others who have damaged their car and even had some serious physical injury.
There are things that happen in your life every day that sometimes make an impression and other times don’t. Some events happen so quickly we can’t really focus on them until they’re over.
Recent reports have indicated that deer are digging up yards near us. Undoubtedly, the relatively warm weather has sent them to the roads and homes for whatever they need. I would say in general we know deer are around us and we hear stories from people who have had accidents. All this underscores the need of being aware of what’s around us, especially in the dark when it’s difficult to see animals on the road.
It has been years since I’ve even seen a deer, except in the backyard eating my flowers, or in a field next to the road. But this time several of them came quite close to us.
Just a coupe of days ago, my husband and I were on St. Rt. 736 just about a mile outside of town on our way back home and not really paying much attention to our surroundings. What could have been a direct collision with deer turned out much better, and maybe provides some help to others driving in our area.
Fortunately ours was the only car on the road. It was dark, about 8 p.m., and it was quiet. We were just talking about some unimportant thing when suddenly in front of our car the headlights shined on three large deer running across the road. I can’t imagine how they got there right in front of us without us noticing them. It was very murky. I’m so glad … the entire incident couldn’t have lasted more than 10 seconds.
I don’t know how we missed them. A second later, I saw two more deer coming at the side of the car, but they veered off and there was no collision. My husband somehow maintained control of the vehicle to ensure he didn’t swerve off the road and into the ditch. He slowed down but didn’t slam on the brakes.
We have been told that deer often run toward the lights of a vehicle. Maybe that’s why they are on the road acting so oddly. Somebody else said that flashing the car’s headlights, if you have time, could make them run away from and not toward the auto.
This is the kind of story you hear from people a lot at this time of year, or in the fall when it’s usually a little warmer.
I have no idea how we missed them or vice versa … well of course I know – it was God and I thanked him so much for watching over us in this situation. It was such a wacky thing because it happened so quickly.
Plenty of people hit animals of various sizes, often in the dark before they even know the animals are there. We were lucky.
Just the next day we heard the story of a woman who was killed in Delaware County when a deer hit her car and, I think, flipped it. Undoubtedly, horrible things could’ve happened to us and we are so grateful that we got home without a scratch on us or damage to the car. Thank you again, God.
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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