A McLean resident driving an SUV East on Chain Bridge Road, mid-afternoon Thursday collided with a young deer less than a mile west of downtown.
She received apparently minor injuries but was badly shaken by the accident.
Here are some safety tips from Fairfax County government on what to do if confronted by a deer while driving.
Virginia had the eighth highest total number of deer-vehicle collisions in the United States in 2007-08.
According to Drive Smart Virginia, an estimated 54,000 drivers have collided with deer. These issues are not isolated to rural areas of the state: Fairfax County has a very active deer population, and particularly at this time of year, police urge motorists to drive cautiously.
Deer are especially active from pre-dawn to mid-morning and from dusk to early evening – right about the time when many Fairfax County residents are going to and from work or school. So, remember the following safety tips:
- Do not swerve to miss a deer. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, strike a tree or another vehicle or to overturn. Those types of accidents result in far more fatalities than auto-deer crashes.
If you cannot avoid hitting a deer:
- Slow down and grasp the steering wheel firmly with both hands.
- Take your foot off the brake at the time of impact so the front end of your vehicle will lift up and enable the deer to go under the car, rather than over it – reducing the danger of it crashing through the windshield or windows.
- Be aware of posted “Deer Crossing” signs. They are placed in areas known for high deer traffic.
- Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles; they may not work.
- Drivers should use their high-beams when there is no on-coming traffic for a better view of the edge of adjacent woods and fields.
- If the animal is injured or killed, report the collision through the county’s non-emergency line at 703-691-2131.
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