What to do if you come across a deer while in a car

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Deer mating season is throughout the month of November, and that's when drivers should be extra careful on the road. People are more likely to see deer between dusk and dawn. South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Julian Beaudion said he receives many calls about car accidents involving deer just before 5:00 AM.

It's important this time of year for drivers to eliminate distractions and stay alert so their focus can be on the road. According to AAA, there are a few things drivers can do to reduce the risk of hurting themselves or damaging their car. The first thing is to keep an eye out for deer crossing signs and be extra careful in that area. The second thing is if drivers come across one deer, then it's likely there are more so be aware. The next thing is to make sure a seat belt is worn and to go the speed limit for more reaction time. Last, it's suggested not to swerve if someone comes across a deer.

Trooper Beaudion agreed that swerving isn't the right thing to do and instead, drivers should just hit the deer head on.

"I wouldn't swerve because most drivers tend to swerve into other vehicles, and then we get other people that are involved," Trooper Beaudion said.

He said sometimes there's just no avoiding the animals if they are on the road. The wild animal sensors that people can purchase or that are already built into the car aren't reliable either. He said the sensors that are built into cars are actually the most accurate though.

"I don't know that they actually work to have you avoid to hit the wild animal. They just tell you that it's approaching," Trooper Beaudion said.

If a driver hits a deer, then they should make sure they are okay first, then call the highway patrol to report the accident.