DOT officials remind Iowa drivers that deer cannot read road signs

Deer Crossing Here

Apparently, some Iowa residents think that deer crossing signs are intended to indicate to deer where it is safe for them to cross the road.

Iowa DOT explained that they are asked on a regular basis why they don’t put deer crossing signs in safer places for the deer to cross.

WNEP reported, the yellow signs do appear similar – one with the silhouette of a deer and the other a pedestrian – but the DOT outlined the difference on Facebook:

Question: Why don’t you put these signs where it is safer for the deer to cross?

Answer: Deer can’t read signs. Drivers can. This sign isn’t intended to tell deer where to cross, it’s for drivers to be alert that deer have been in this area in the past.

As breeding season approaches, more deer will be out and about – undoubtedly crossing some roads. KCRG explains the danger of deer in the road saying, “In Iowa from January 1 to October 23 there have been 3,344 crashes with animals, according to the DOT. There have been 156 injuries and one fatality from the crashes.

If that’s not enough to make you be more alert when you see deer signs, those crashes have caused $14,690,650 in property damage.”

It may sound like a joke that people are questioning the deer crossing signs, but being aware of animals in the road is no joke. Be aware and ready to react properly if you ever come across an animal in the road.

Here are a few helpful statistics about deer and how to effectively avoid them on the road:

  • You are most likely to encounter deer at dawn and dusk
  • Deer are most commonly seen on the outskirts of town and in heavily wooded areas; although, they still can be seen in more residential areas
  • Deer almost never travel alone – if you see 1 deer there are almost always more to follow
  • If you are driving through an area known for high deer populations, slow down
  • Deer can become mesmerized by steady, bright lights so if you see one frozen on the road, slow down and flash your lights. Some experts recommend one long blast of the horn to scare them out of the road
  • Never swerve to avoid colliding with a deer
  • If you do collide with a deer, let off the brakes at the moment of impact. Geigo reports, “Braking through the impact can cause the hood of your vehicle to dip down, which can propel the animal through the windshield.”
  • Never touch an animal in the roadway