It's that time of year, where the deer are on the move. I'm sure you've seen them out and about. I'm pretty lucky in that I've never hit a deer with my car. I was in a car that hit a deer once, it was pretty scary.  There were several other people in the van and they did a lot of screaming. We managed to get back my job, but nobody was in a good mood after that. So what do you do? Do you swerve, do you slow down, what can you do to try not to hit the cute little things at all?

Well, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation, you can firstly do your best to avoid a collision at all.  They have some tips:

• Be especially alert and use caution when traveling through areas marked with deer crossing signs.

• Deer seldom travel alone. Chances are if you see one deer crossing a road or notice a struck deer on the side of the road, there are others nearby.

• Be especially cautious in areas around fields, streams, and gardens where deer tend to congregate.

• Most deer-related crashes occur in January, May, and October through December.

• Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.

• After dark, use high beams when there is no opposing traffic. High beams will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater motorist reaction time.

• To reduce the likelihood of serious injury in a crash, be sure all vehicle occupants wear seat belts and children are properly restrained in child safety seats.

So you've tried your best, and there's the deer anyway, right in your path. What do you do? They surprised me!

If you see that a crash is unavoidable, do not swerve. Swerving off the road or into the path of an oncoming car can increase the risk of injury. Make sure there is no traffic behind you before slowing suddenly. Too much brake pressure can cause the front end of the vehicle to drop down, striking the deer in the legs and allowing the body to come into the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

I had no idea! I've been slowing down and swerving all this time! Well, there you have it. I guess you just have to hope they get out of your way, or take the hit.  Here's hoping that you or I never have to try this out.

Swervily yours,