SAAB Safety

Sometimes an car-deer collision is inevitable

Saab 9-2x

This even happens to the best of drivers. Not much you can do. During October and November every year,, motorists in many states of USA are more likely to encounter deer on streets and highways. It’s deer season, when nearly two thirds of all animal collisions with vehicles happen in midwestern states such as Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan. West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Montana have equally high rates of animal collisions from September through November, according to a study by Farmers Insurance.

Like a deer in the headlights: an idiom for freezing in a moment of crisis. But it’s also the truth—when you see a deer in your headlights both you and the deer suddenly cannot react to the oncoming collision. Should have added that, if you can’t stop in time to avoid a collision with a larger animal like a deer you should brake as hard as possible but go straight ahead rather than swerving off the road. We’ve heard that “if you absolutely can’t avoid hitting a deer, it’s better to accelerate” (explanation: “The idea is to raise the front end and lessen the damages to you and your car.”). But, but this is totally unacceptable for many reasons. We do not recommend hitting the gas pedal. Although the front of it out of the car will lift a bit under acceleration, most likely you’ll have more damage. The best thing you can do is pay attention, slow down, and look in your rearview mirror before you hit the brakes (if you have time, which is very rare).

About a year ago the great Saab enthusiast Paul Campagna, who has several Saab cars and among them very rare model (2001, 2 door Saab 9-3 Viggen, 1988 Saab 900 SPG, 2008 Saab Turbo X XWD) – hit a local deer road – in fact the deer ran into his Saab 9-2x! In this slow motion, you can see that collision was absolutely inevitable, the deer were not seen at all by the side of the road and just flew out in front of the headlights:

Did you see the deer just before the collision – 100% did not see it. Fortunately, with this type of collision, when you sit in a Saab car you are safer than with other cars. Paul hit a deer. And according to him, It isn’t horrible damage, but sucks non-the less. Hood, windshield, door, mirror and some other small things. Now, watch the real-life video – not slow-motion video:

As Paul himself stated, everything is true, 100 percent paying attention, no distractions at all and unavoidable.

Sometimes these accidents are unavoidable, particularly during the fall and early winter months when deer are active and breeding. Attentive drivers can take several simple precautions to reduce the likelihood of these encounters resulting in a traffic accident:

  • Fasten your seatbelt. It’s simple common sense and the best defense in the event a crash is unavoidable.
  • Pay attention to deer-crossing signs.
  • Be especially alert at dawn and dusk. These are the times deer are most active.
  • If you see one deer, expect more to follow. Deer typically travel in single file.
  • If you see a deer on the road, brake firmly and blow your horn.
  • If a crash is unavoidable, don’t swerve! Studies show the most serious crashes occur when motorists swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or object, or roll over.