Your vehicle is a big investment, so it’s only natural to want to protect it as much as possible. There are millions of wildlife-related accidents every year. Most of them are fatal for the animal, and some are even fatal for the driver.
Nighttime driving is dangerous enough. If you frequently drive in areas with a lot of deer activity, it’s even more dangerous. It’s smart to explore some ways to protect your vehicle (and yourself) from deer and other wildlife that may unexpectedly cross the road right in front of your vehicle.
Let’s talk about 4 ways to protect your car from deer collisions.
1. Brush Guard
Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington, via Creative Commons.
A brush guard is one of the most common ways to protect your car in the event of a deer collision. A brush guard is a metal guard that’s connected to the front of your car’s frame and is wrapped around the front bumper, hood, and headlights.
A brush guard sounds like a great solution on paper, but is it really that effective? Not really. While a brush guard helps minimize the damage to the front of your car, damage can still happen if the impact is hard enough. And, a brush guard does nothing to prevent the collision.
You can read more about the pros and cons of having a brush guard on your vehicle here.
2. Deer Whistle
Image Credit: Erie News
A deer whistle is a little whistle that's mounted to your bumper or grille. The whistle emits ultrasonic sounds that can be heard by deer, but not humans. The air flowing through the whistle as you drive causes it to function.
Deer whistles are not always effective, though. They’re designed to startle the deer and cause them to run away from the road. However, some deer will actually not know where they're going and instead run into the road. You can’t predict a deer’s actions, so using a deer whistle is quite a gamble.
Deer whistles are really cheap and they’re easy to install, though.
3. Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is the simplest way to protect yourself and your vehicle from deer, but it’s also the least effective way. Defensive driving is a style of driving that involves being hyper aware of your surroundings. For example:
- Not using your phone
- Driving extra cautiously
- Pushing your horn for a long time upon spotting a deer
- Stopping in a straight line (never swerving)
- Using high beam headlights
While this method helps you become a better driver and lessens the risk of a deer collision, it’s not foolproof. Even the most defensive driver in the world still can’t avoid hitting a deer in some situations.
4. NightRide Infrared Imaging Camera
You know what they say: prevention is key. The sooner you can see a deer up ahead, the more time you have to avoid it. NightRide is an infrared imaging camera system that allows you to spot body heat over 1/4 mile away. Even if the deer is located in the woods right off the road, your NightRide camera can still detect it. In other words, you get super night vision with a NightRide camera.
A NightRide camera is the only solution in this list that doesn't leave anything up to chance. By seeing exactly what is far ahead of you on the road, you'll have enough time to prepare and react accordingly. This is something none of the other solutions on this list could offer.
You Can’t be Too Careful
Even though a NightRide camera is pretty much all you need to ensure safety from deer and other wildlife, you can never be too careful. You can incorporate some or all of the solutions on this list in addition to a NightRide camera.