GEM Motoring Assist is warning drivers not to ‘veer for a deer’ because of the dangers that a sudden swerve could cause.
Annually, there are around 74,000 accidents involving deer on UK roads and it is thought that between 10 and 20 drivers are killed as a result. A last-minute change in direction if an animal is spotted could risk a car swinging into another lane and into oncoming traffic, which could lead to a crash or rolling the vehicle.
The leading road safety organisation is advising that extra care is taken in places where deer are known to be. Instead of veering away, they should reduce their speed and steer straight ahead, even if they see a deer. This way, motorists can maintain control of their car and lower the risk of a serious incident.
Neil Worth, Chief Executive of GEM, said: “We encourage drivers to be extra observant, but we recommend that you ‘don’t veer for a deer’, purely because of the risks that go with a swift change of direction while driving.”
The upcoming breeding season means deer, in particular, are likely to be roaming nearer to roads, increasing the chance of accidents.
“Periods of highest deer activity tend to occur at dawn and dusk, coinciding with the morning and evening rush hour, increasing collision risks in areas where deer are common”, Worth continued.
The RSPCA estimates that out of all of the collisions involving deer per year, 10,000 are killed instantly. Drivers are advised to glance at the sides of the road for the animals because if you spot one or two, it is probable that there are more in the area.
In addition to safety concerns, there is a possibility that road users may also be charged with a dangerous driving offence if they swerve between lanes. This could come with a fine of up to £5,000, nine penalty points and potentially a temporary driving ban.