Forum: Advice / Cars & Driving

So I hit a deer last night
By Damhnaitmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:46 AM

Well, actually my boyfriend hit it driving me and our two friends home from another friend's house in my car last night at around 11:30. Our friends were sleeping in the back seat and I had just just curled up in the passenger seat to drift off to sleep because I had to work this morning. Next thing I know I hear "Oh ****", a swerve, I open my eyes and BAM. Deer on the windshield. My eyes were only open for a split second before I closed my eyes and covered my head expecting the windshield to bust, but it never did. The deer never hit the windshield, it just flew up and over my car.

So we stop, I'm doing a weird mixture of screaming and sobbing because 1) that is THE WORST way to get woken up, 2) THAT'S MY CAR, and 3) I wasn't sure if I was more upset that we killed a doe or still just scared that I woke up to a DEER FLYING OVER MY CAR, so I compensated by screaming and crying at the same time. We look at the front of the car and the hood is bent into the engine-area, my left front headlight is nearly dangling, driver's side door not opening due to some kind of dent near it, and my front license plate was nearly off.

Conveniently I was right across town from my parents house instead of, you know, 50 miles away where I live the next town over. Called them, they called the insurance company and tow truck, my mom came out to get us because, hey, we were stranded. So then the cop shows up and we get that sorted out.

So I asked my boyfriend what all happened since I was sleeping, obviously. We were on a stretch of road in rural Wisconsin and the speed limit changes from 45 to 55 in that area. Coming up over a steep hill going 55mph, all of a sudden there were three deer just standing in the middle of the road just over the top of the hill. Completely invisible until the last second. Two deer bolted off the road, but one didn't run fast enough. Being a narrow road with no shoulder and a good drop off into a valley on the right-hand side, the only option was to try to avoid it by swerving into the other lane. But the doe decided she wanted to go the OTHER way at the last moment. Straight into my car.

Who else has hit deer? What did you do? How much damage? Any tips for people if they come across a deer?

My only tip is to just not swerve. Your car will be damaged by hitting the deer full on, but it's better than flying off the road AND hitting a deer.

16 Replies to So I hit a deer last night

re: So I hit a deer last night
By FeisForFoodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:09 PM
A few years ago, I was on my way home from picking my dad up from the airport. I was driving (my stepmom's car), my dad was in the front seat and my friend in the back. I was on a stretch of highway that has trees on either side and no shoulder, and it was late at night. I saw a car in front of me swerve but couldn't tell what happened, and it was too close for me to have time to slow down and figure it out. There was an 18-wheeler coming at me in the other lane. A second later, as I came to the spot where the car had swerved, there was a deer in the road that had been hit seconds before and was kicking and rolling in my lane. I didn't see it until it was in my headlights and we were doing 50, with the truck in the other lane, so I screamed as we went OVER other choice. I was maybe 17 or 18 when it happened so I was a fairly inexperienced driver, but I knew better even in the split second not to swerve into the trees or into the truck.

So I was screaming and crying, my friend was screaming and crying, and my dad was trying to calm us both down. I hit my blinkers, found an abandoned parking lot to pull over. My friend was carsick even before we hit the deer so she got out and threw up, and my dad and I inspected the damage while I nearly passed out from the trauma. The front bumper was somewhat dented, but since the deer had gone under the car and not over, we were more worried about possible damage underneath the car. We decided it was safe to drive home (maybe not the best decision, but whatever). My dad drove the rest of the way and we took it to the garage the next day, where they discovered something damaged about the axel, I believe (yeah...maybe not the safest thing to be driving around on).

The whole event was pretty scary, so I can identify with that. And being the driver is not so fun when that happens...I was very upset about the deer, but at least mine had already been hit. I told myself if I was the one who killed it, at least I put it out of its misery. Meh. I'm sorry your car is so banged up. It's tricky business. I think when it's night time, and you're already going within the speed limit, you're pretty much doing all you can. No sense driving 15mph the entire trip just because you MIGHT encounter a deer on the other side of a bump. I think my biggest tip is to remain aware at all times. It sounds obvious, but how many of us are on autopilot and daydreaming, staring while we're driving along a route we know well? There have been so many times I've been driving, zoned out, and suddenly snapped out of it and thought, "Man, if that car in the other lane had done XYZ just now [or a deer had run out] I totally would not have been prepared to deal with it." You realize you just were not paying attention. And the time you actually get punished for that will not be just a friendly warning, it'll be a serious problem.

Good luck with your car and your nerves.
re: So I hit a deer last night
By Sumayah
On Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:19 PM
Image hotlink - '' . . .

I swear by those things. I posted this story once before, so I'll copy and paste, but it should explain my undying hatred of deer.

Sumayah wrote:

I never cried when Bambi's mom got shot. Part of me gets a little gleeful but then, then Disney had to go and piss me off by giving Bambi's whore twins. *curses in words not viewable on ddn*

Deer Story 1: (Satan the Deer)

So check it, it's in 1986 and I'm six years old, seatbelted into the back of our navy blue Buick. We're driving out to east Texas to visit my g-mom and crazy aunt and my sister just got her driver's license so my mom offers to let her drive. We're on a major highway - divided 4 lane highway, well lit, nice paved shoulders. What could possibly go wrong?

So my sister starts driving and it's dusk, then out of the west bound traffic comes a big ol' ten point buck. He runs directly in front of our car. My sister (who's had her license for like five minutes) has a few options: A) hit the deer or B) swerve. Option A) would inevitably lead to impalement as the deer would have slid through the windshield and antlers into heads. *squish* Option B) miss the deer and live! YAY! So my sister chose option B. One small detail... there's a wall of trees on the sides of the road. So as my sister swerves to miss the deer we start heading towards the trees, and in the high speed game of trees or your car, trees are always the victor, anyway, so my sister swerves to miss the trees. So first we go right, now we go left. And now we're going in 360's down the highway. The deer happily skips off into the woods to go procreate or whatever it is deer do. Meanwhile back in the car, we've gained enough momentum that we flip over onto the roof and continue spinning down the highway.

You know that scene from Blues Brothers? Yeah.

So we continue on our course until we land in the grassy median and knock out a baby oak tree. My sister has the wise judgment to turn off the car. Yay not exploding! So we hang upside down, in the dark, unable to get out. Eventually some trucks stopped and radioed the nearest major city and they send an ambulance out. The car is beyond totaled. We get out, my mom and sister have to be cut out because upside down the seatbelts lock, fyi, so someone had a pocket knife and cut them out. I'm fine (except for the permanent mental scarring against deer), my sister is fine, my mom has a cut on her nose from glass from the windshield. The ambulance gets to us and we hop in the back and drive to the hospital. From the description of the wreck, the hospital thought we'd be D.O.A. but no. We're fine. The car's screwed... I should find and upload those pictures, it's pretty crazy to see.

So thus was born Satan the Deer.

Deer Story 2: (Son of Satan)

We're driving home from a trip in West Texas (whee West Texas, oh look at the nothingness...) and I'm sitting in the front passenger seat. My mom is driving the blue Astro van - the extended real van size, the smaller one. This is the same van that later got stolen in Houston and involved in a drug bust and high speed car chase - I kid you not. But that's a story for another time. In this story, we're coming home and once again it's dusk (sounds like the beginning to a really bad horror movie right? and then the hook went to the babysitters face! Scrape! Scrape! Scrape!) and sure enough little Son of Satan runs out and BAM! Hits our car. Van. One little deer can do amazing damage to a freaking van.

So that story isn't as near as dramatic as the former one, but it illustrates the vendetta that deer have upon me.

Deer Story 3: (Satan's Spawn Strikes Again)

I live out in BFE (stands for By Freaking Egypt), the boonies, the suburbs redneck cousin, whatever. I'm driving down a county road and there looming in front of me is a deer. Try to imagine the scene: there the deer stands, red and orange flames dance around him while mini demons with pitchforks laugh menacingly from eerie cracks in the road and though the sun is shining all around, a dark shadow falls across the road. Okay, so anyway, the deer looks at me and I come to a halt 100 feet away and I look back at the deer.

And the deer goes, "Oh, pardon me, I seem to be standing in your way. Here let me exit the roadway."

And I go, "Yes, that would be fabulous, I'd really appreciate your removal from this situation. Thank you so much!"

The deer nods politely and trots away.

I slowly continue on and look cautiously to see if the deer is anywhere around and then


And the deer broke my car... after he flew thirty feet on the rebound back off the road. He BROKE my car. Like there was an actual hole in the front right of my car where he hit and fractured the hard outer shell exposing the rustable, creamy filling inside. Damn deer.

Thus ends the Satan the Deer Trilogy. Let's not hold our breath for the remake.

Thus, when I got my new car the first thing I did was put deer whistles on it. And regardless, when I see deer (like I did on Tuesday) my heart beats like double time. If I'm driving at dusk or dark on a county road, I get all tense and paranoid. Not cool.


**Cheers to vension!**

So yeah, I feel you. I definitely feel you. (((HUGS)))
re: So I hit a deer last night
By kandykanePremium member
On Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:25 PM
I have hit three deer. One - minor damage, one - no damage, one - totalled the car and scared the crap out of me and left me with a nasty seatbelt burn on my neck that took a couple of weeks to heal and a year for the mark to fade. Several members of my family have also been unfortunate to hit deer, cows, even a moose.

Sumayah, that's a cool device! I might need to look into that. (Except that I have FIVE cars to buy it for, ugh.) You know how bad the deer are in these parts. :(

re: So I hit a deer last night (karma: 1)
By Sumayah
On Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:36 PM
Edited by Sumayah (204191) on 2012-03-07 12:41:21
I got mine at Target. Trust me, they're worth it. I've seen alongside the road as I've driven past and they just stop and don't move. It's like they're all "Wait, what's that sound? Edgar do you hear that?" "Man, is it aliens? Tell me it's not aliens again." "No man, but what is that?" "Dude, I don't know but it's gone now." "Yeah man, it's gone." "We should be careful about the grass we eat, I think that last batch was trippy." "Maybe so." And meanwhile I'm a mile down the road. Well worth it.
re: So I hit a deer last night
By hummingbird
On Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:37 PM
I hit one a couple of years ago on the way back home from teaching. I saw it by the side of the road, there was a car coming towards me and just as the other car came level with me the deer decided that would be a good time to bolt across the road. It's head hit my lights so it was killed outright, it damaged all down the side of my car and even managed to take off part of my rear bumper. It was a lot of damage but still drivable.

I ended up with the right head light pointing skyward, my students called it the Miss *** Signal, like the Bat Signal but mine should have had a pointe shoe gobo in it.
re: So I hit a deer last night
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 07, 2012 07:53 PM
Yes, get some kind of deer whistles for the car.

We were on a stretch of road in rural Wisconsin and the speed limit changes from 45 to 55 in that area. Coming up over a steep hill going 55mph, all of a sudden there were three deer just standing in the middle of the road just over the top of the hill. Completely invisible until the last second.

Obviously not valid for this particular incident, but I guess it's a lesson learned...the speed limit is a suggestion. I live in a small town in a pretty rural area, so we have multiple roads like that. During the day I can cruise at 65mph along with the rest of traffic and it's dandy. But when I'm coming home late at night and hardly any other cars are on the road? I go below the speed limit, especially where there are hills and major curves. The area where we live is known for the high number of deer and I'm thankful that I haven't hit one although they certainly seem to want to get hit pretty often. Due to super careful night driving I've also avoided hitting other animals, like skunks, possums, and raccoons.

Overall I'd just be thankful that everybody is okay...I know somebody who lost her cousin when he hit a buck that came through the windshield and there was a fundraiser not too long ago for a girl who suffered brain damage from the same kind of incident. :?
re: So I hit a deer last night
By Coccinellamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:23 PM
That must have been really scary! When my boyfriend and I travel up to his parents lake house during the summers there is a stretch of road with lots of deer. We used to have a vehicle with crazy big Jeep lights all over it and when you'd light them up you could see the deer eyes reflecting in the edge of the forest!
re: So I hit a deer last night
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:14 AM
This is soooo common. Happens all the time.

I bounced a deer off my Honda once.

My tale is similar to Sumayah's experience of the Kamikaze deer:
I'm speeding along the road at a cheery 45mph, when I spy two deer standing on the side of the road. I slow down, making eye contact with them, and they seem to realize that if they decide to cross the road at that moment, they will become mincemeat. One of the deer had a death wish, however, because at the last second he goes for it, and I'm pressing down on the brake and almost stop in time, there's a split second where I thought I've made it, but nope. The four-point buck bounces on the hood of my car, flies up and to the left and lands twitching on the side of the road.

Image hotlink - ''

My car won.

When I took it to the car place to get pictures taken for insurance, the guy was just like, sharing stories of how it was that time of year, and how many cars they'd had in for that, and so on.

My advice is to remember the rules of what it's better to hit. I just found out an old acquaintance has been in a serious accident because he swerved and hit a tree. He lost his memory, so he's not sure what he was swerving to avoid, but he suspects it was a deer. It is better to hit deer than trees. It is better to hit trees than oncoming traffic. It's best not to hit anything. Screw deer.
re: So I hit a deer last night
By Summer
On Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:48 AM
I used to live in rural Wisconsin, so I know this all too well. I've never hit a deer myself, but I was in the car when my mom hit a HUGE doe--messed up the front of the car pretty bad, and that doe was deader than a doornail.

Another time we saw a deer running along side us as we were driving down the road. We thought this was weird, so we slowed down. The deer proceeded to run into the side of our car and sort of bounce off of it...both car and deer were unharmed, thankfully.

Deer freak me out. I'm kinda glad I moved to Florida...we still have deer, but they are much fewer where I am. Plus no ice and snow in the winter! Double yay!
re: So I hit a deer last night
By hummingbird
On Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:01 AM
I wonder if those deer whistles work on Moose?
re: So I hit a deer last night
By Damhnaitmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Mar 09, 2012 03:37 PM
I want to thank everyone who mentioned the deer whistles. My dad seemed to have the same idea, too. We're getting a pair for my car (when it comes out of the repair shop) and a pair for each of my parents' cars, too.

Speaking of my car, I was getting a little nervous yesterday. I bought the car used, so obviously the value of it wasn't too spectacular. It's a good car, only 6 years old, decent mileage, but I only bought it for $7,800. So when my mom told me that the repair shop called to say what was all wrong with it, that the prices were really building up and there could be a chance the insurance company would call it totaled.

Later in the day I got the good news that it IS going to get fixed: sure saves me the hassle of finding a new car!

And wow, Heart, that is a good getaway for your car! The doe we hit, we assume, was only about 130lbs. It was a tiny little thing, but it managed to crack my radiator, pull off my front left headlight, neither of my headlights worked, push up the hood, crack the bumper, and everything under the hood was pushed inward.

In a way, I'm kind of glad we were going the 55mph we were, because I heard if you try to slow down, that's when deer go through windshields. When you hit them at a higher speed, it causes more damage in your engine area, but it causes the deer to go up and over your car, like it did in my scenario.

Tell ya what, though. I'm driving my mom's car and she has a rental (I'm not 21 to be able to drive the rental yet) and while I was driving home from work at 7pm last night I was scanning the woods on each side of the highway like I've never done before. I've become completely terrified of deer!
re: So I hit a deer last night (karma: 1)
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Mar 09, 2012 07:05 PM
In a way, I'm kind of glad we were going the 55mph we were, because I heard if you try to slow down, that's when deer go through windshields. When you hit them at a higher speed, it causes more damage in your engine area, but it causes the deer to go up and over your car, like it did in my scenario.

It also really depends on your car and its shape, as well as the angle at which the deer is hit and the slope, if any, of the road. Y'all were just really lucky with this one, it seems! Try not to dwell on it too much!
re: So I hit a deer last night
By adz
On Sat Mar 17, 2012 08:53 AM
i have not hit any deer , but i have hit about 6 or 7 kangaroo's in the last ten years.i have been lucky and only had minor damage to my cars.
re: So I hit a deer last night
By SarahdncrPremium member
On Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:27 PM
Edited by Sarahdncr (214611) on 2012-03-24 23:28:44
Edited by Sarahdncr (214611) on 2012-03-24 23:32:41
Edited by Sarahdncr (214611) on 2012-03-24 23:33:15
You did the absolute right thing. Better the deer than a swerve off the road, over-compensating the correction to get back on the road only to swerve more and potentially end up rolling the vehicle, and/or to run off the road and hit a tree/telephone/light pole.

Any Car/deer MVA tips?

1. Ask the investigating police officer to issue you a tag for the deer.

2. Always keep on retainer a good male friend, ex/current husband, boyfriend, or father who knows how to field dress a deer. If you are a woman who likes to hunt, so much the better -- keep a huntking knife and plastic bags in your cars emergency kit.

3. Have a big freezer.
re: So I hit a deer last night
By Martha_Cecillemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:01 AM
I grew up very rural so foxes, deers, big big rabbits and accidents with them are not a big deal.

I was in the backset with three deers hitting our car (three different accidents). But sunday dinner was delicious after that! In Germany you normally don't call the police but a forester ranger or a hunter. They split up the areas were they life and take care of the accidents, they take the animals home and in case of the deers they ask you if you want to have some meat from it :)

My father hit a fox that got stuck in front of the engine, we had to drive it home and then with the help of a neighbour (also a hunter) get it out of the car and shot it on our front porch because the fox was hurt so bad.

I had my first deer last year. I had to get it of the street by myself. I hid it with only like 30 or 40 km/h because I hit the brake when I saw the deers on the street in front of another car. But I couldn't stop fast enough. Well, I could have hit it at 100 km/h...much worse.

My tip are:
to stay calm (I konw, not that easy). Turn on the security lights of your car, get it aside the road. Don't touch the animal without gloves!
For Germany call the police or if you know him or her the forester ranger. Get a certificate that proves you hit an animal (important for insurance). And always have 20 euros in your car to pay the certificate, you'll get it back from the insurance!
re: So I hit a deer last night
By CatherineBethel
On Sat Apr 28, 2012 08:24 PM
We recently hit a deer while driving home from the Detoit airport... Luckily everyone was okay and it only caused minor damage.... I hate driving at night along the 402 in Canada!!


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