It was a good weekend for Americans, being a three-day holiday — but
a lousy weekend for deer. And the motorcyclists who hit them.
As summer approaches, the deer come out, sometimes in groups, and collisions with vehicles make this cute critter one of America’s most deadly animals.
In Wisconsin, two people on a
motorcycle were killed when their bike collided with a deer early on
Saturday morning. Both the 53-year-old man and the 51-year-old woman
were wearing helmets at the time.
In New York state, a couple from
Pennsylvania hit a deer at 10:30 on Saturday morning. The riders, in
their sixties, were not seriously hurt, though the woman did suffer a
broken arm. The deer did not survive.
An 18-year-old male from Darien, New
York, hit a deer about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, went off the road and struck
a telephone pole. He was killed.
In Pennsylvania, a 44-year-old man hit
a deer just after midnight on Sunday morning and was taken to hospital for
Deer have killed road-users in Canada, too, and the collisions reported above make it clear that it’s not just dusk and dawn — typically the times when deer are expected — that they’ll be found on the road. So be careful out there!
I heard more than once that flashing your lights to high-beam to normal repeatedly when a deer is in that “deer-in-the-headlight” gaze at you; will break them out of the trance and prevent them from jumping right out in front of you at the last moment. That’s is if you see them early enough to do this proactively with some distance ahead of them. I’ve tried this both in cars and the bike and it seems to work, but do admit that’s hard to measure. Knock-on-wood I haven’t hit one yet, but have come close a few times on the bike. Last close call was on Elephant Lake Rd north of Bancroft.
LP and Steve thanks for the ‘deer whistle’ correction. I’ll just have to be careful (and remove that useless piece of plastic from the used BMW I just bought!).
I’m still picking raccoon hair out of the front tire bead/rim interface…
I’m going to go with the slightly more expensive ‘add more lights’ technique, in addition to slowing down when the risk is there.
Not to mention the added Look at Me factor… Proven to help reduce the incidence of left turns in front of a motorcyclists…
Now, just to find the right lights and where to put ’em. Wouldn’t mind something retina seering, but will settle for something Princess auto-ish…
… or even a new Moto Guzzi.
On deer whistles, a researcher at Texas A&M University tested them with live deer and found that the deer did not react to them, and probably did not even hear them. They’re junk.
Several years ago I did some research on deer whistles. Various US police departments had done tests and their conclusions were they made NO difference (for what it’s worth).
I went out and bought one of the electronic versions anyway … fool that I am.
I have more recently been doing the unthinkable and almost impossible … slowing down.
An old Moto Guzzi helps make this advanced riding technique endurable. :grin
We had a close encounter with some deer during the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally last year (on Hwy 148 in Quebec just as the sun was going down so very hard to see until the last moment). Stay safe out there and maybe add one of those high-pitched ‘deer whistles’ to your bike.