Each weekday morning about 7am you will find me out at the bus stop waiting with my 5–y/o kindergartner to get picked up for school. I’m discovering it to be an interesting time standing waiting alongside a busy morning highway. And today was certainly no exception.
The bus had departed maybe ten minutes earlier and I was still standing near the road talking with the neighbor. The traffic was zipping by with folks in a hurry to get to their jobs for the day. This included a fast-moving semi truck presumably hauling grain heading northbound.
For some reason my eyes just focused on this semi as it trailed off away from me when suddenly a deer darted directly in front of the semi. The distance was maybe 200 yards from where I stood and I witnessed the semi swerve and then came a noticeable “thud.” From even my angle it appeared this deer took it squarely in front of the truck’s grill. The semi never even slowed down and just kept on trucking down the road.
Moments later another car oblivious to the accident sailed by and I watch as its driver attempted unsuccessfully to swerve and bounced over the debris in the road.
The neighbor and I then slowed additional traffic down to warn them as we ventured down road to discover the eventual carnage.
We quickly removed as much of the deer from the middle of the road as not to cause continued traffic problems. Let me tell you…the site of this might have been bad but the stench was nearly overwhelming.
Indeed, this deer was crossing the road heading right onto my property when it got schmucked. Not a pretty sight, but one I have grown accustomed to seeing along this road and in the very spot, nevertheless.
But, I’m not going to whine about one less deer for this fall. Instead, I want to remind folks it is that time to be careful…and to train your mind NOT TO SWERVE away from a deer when driving. I know that’s hard to do, but let’s face it a semi truck is not going to evade hitting a deer. Some of the best drivers in performance cars cannot react that quickly (and safely). It requires a person to just be mentally prepared and not to overreact. Why?
Simple, on this same stretch of road maybe 1/4 mile heading in the opposite direction this happened some 35 years ago.
A fawn was standing in the roadway and the semi attempted to avoid it. Not a good outcome. The driver had gone over a million miles accident free prior to this incident. Explain that one to your employer.
So, let this be a reminder…for safety sake do not swerve to avoid deer or you easily can lose control and cause more damage anyway. Let this also be a reminder that deer are on the move this time of the year and it pays to be vigilant and aware of those areas they are likely to be traveling.
©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.