Message Monday - Rut Roh Shaggy, deer can dent your Mystery Machine

11-9 rut rohSince the cartoon first debuted in 1969, the lovable mystery solvers from Scooby Doo have relied on the Mystery Machine to sweep them away from danger. But traveling in your own “mystery machine” can be dangerous this time of year if you unexpectedly encounter a deer. Dusk and dawn are when you’re most likely to say “Jeepers!” as a deer darts out of the ditch.

To help you stay safe, remain alert, driver sober, slow down and continuously scan your surroundings to watch for any animals in your path before you get too close. But if a deer does happen to end up in your path, don’t veer to avoid hitting it.

Safety experts say if there is an animal in your vehicle’s path:

  • Don’t swerve. Swerving may send your vehicle into oncoming traffic or cause you to crash in the ditch.
  • Brake firmly.
  • Hold on the steering wheel.
  • Stay in your lane.
  • Bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.

After a crash:

  • Pull off the road. Turn on your emergency flashers and be cautious of other traffic.
  • Stay in your vehicle and call 911 for assistance.
  • Once help arrives, don’t attempt to remove a deer from the roadway unless you are convinced it is dead. An injured deer’s sharp hooves can easily hurt you.

For 2020, there have been 273 fatalities reported. That is an increase of four since last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Driver Services Bureau, go to the daily fatality report at

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