Q: I’m going through
driver’s education at Cloquet High School and my question is this: What should you do if you hit a deer with your car and the deer is now in the middle of the road?
A: Thank you for the question, Payton. This is common in our area with the deer population we have in Minnesota, and I am sure many other people are wondering the same thing.
If you are one of the thousands of unfortunate drivers who hit a deer every year with their car, and the deer remains in the road, creating a hazard for other drivers, call 911 and let us know. The person you speak to at 911 will contact the appropriate agency to respond.
If it is on a state trunk highway, the State Patrol will respond and assist. The deer will need to be removed from the roadway so it is no longer a hazard. If the deer is injured and suffering, we will assist with that, as well.
If there is damage to your vehicle, you may need or want a state accident report to be written, although it is not required by law unless someone is
If there is someone who wants the deer, such as the driver, the state troopers also can issue a DNR possession permit for the deer so it doesn’t go to waste.
Deer on and along our roads in northern Minnesota are a common sight, whether you are in the city of Duluth or in rural wooded areas. State Troopers investigate many car-deer crashes every year. Some of those crashes are serious or even fatal.
On occasion, drivers swerve to miss the deer or other animals and go into the ditch or “over correct” after swerving, and roll their vehicle over.
Many times, you are better off hitting the deer than trying to avoid the animal. We need to be focused on our driving and in control of our vehicles. Hopefully, you are driving at a safe speed and able to slow or stop your vehicle before hitting the deer. If not, that seat belt you are wearing can be a life saver. Have a great and safe summer!
Sgt. Mark Baker is a member of the Minnesota State Patrol.