Along with changing leaves and pumpkin carving, fall marks the start of deer season. Most active during October and November, deer will soon be an even more prevalent hazard Wisconsin drivers will need to watch out for.
To help you get through deer season, Waupaca Matthews Tire Manager Nate Ernst is here to share his top tips to stay safe on the road this fall.
Nate’s Deer Season Road Safety Tips
1. Always stay alert while driving and avoid distractions.
“Cell phones and playing with the radio take you away from staying alert,” Nate says. It’s essential to keep your eyes on the road to watch for deer and avoid accidents.
2. Keep your car well-maintained.
There are many parts of our cars we fail to keep maintained without constant use. Nate suggests doing a full run-through of your vehicle to make sure everything is in good shape.
“Always make sure you have good working wipers for bad weather,” Nate says, adding, “take extra care to ensure your headlights are functional. If they are foggy or hazy, it’s time to get them refinished or replaced to keep your vision the clearest it can be.”
This will ensure you’ll be able to spot deer from further away, giving you more time to respond in an emergency.
3. Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
“Deer crossing signs are strategically placed in areas with heavy deer activity,” Nate says. Heed the warning signs and slow down when driving in these areas, especially during fall.
4. Check your tire pressure regularly.
No matter how careful you are, you may still have some close calls.
Nate advises drivers to “maintain proper tire pressure so you’ll have that extra braking power if you ever need to stop quickly to avoid a deer in the road.”
5. Make sure you have the right tires for your car.
Along with maintaining your tire pressure, Nate also reminds Wisconsin drivers to ensure they drive with high-quality tires, especially during deer season.
“Always remember, your brakes stop your tires but your tires are what actually stop your vehicle. Investing in quality tires will give you the best on-road protection.”
Not sure which tires you need? Find the best tires for your car with our simple tool.
6. Approach turns, curves and hills slowly.
Deer can be hard to spot from far away, especially at night. Don’t assume there isn’t a deer in or near the road just because you can’t immediately see them.
Approach blind spots slowly and remain alert until you can clearly see a far stretch of road in front of you.
7. Drive with your brights on at night when possible.
“Using your brights can help illuminate a deer’s eyes and give you more warning to slow down at night,” Nate says.
When there is no oncoming traffic and you can safely do so, use your brights at night to see deer from further away.
8. Ensure your brakes are in good condition.
You won’t be able to avoid a deer collision with unresponsive brakes. “Fall is a great time to bring your car in for a brake inspection. Not just for deer, but for the coming winter,” Nate notes.
He also adds that “any time you hear a brake noise or experience vibrating while braking, it’s time to get your brakes checked out and repaired.”
Schedule a brake inspection to make sure your brakes are in top shape before deer season.
9. Drive in the furthest lane from the shoulder.
Deer tend to rush out onto the road from the shoulder. Give yourself more time to react by driving in the furthest lane from the shoulder, if possible.
Nate added that “on a one-lane road, keep your eyes on the shoulder and slow down even if you see a deer that isn’t currently on or in the middle of the road.”
Prepare for Deer Season with Matthews Tire
Get your car in the best shape possible so you can be prepared for the busy deer season in Wisconsin. The expert technicians at Matthews Tire are here to get your tires, brakes and engine in top shape to stay safe on the road during deer season and beyond.
Schedule your service today at one of the convenient Matthews Tire auto shops in Appleton, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Menasha or Waupaca.