Drivers, watch out for deer

Hearing a report of 17 deer rambling around along and aside Folks Road, north of Sixth Street, comes as no surprise to Sgt. Steve Lewis of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Especially at sundown, when he spies plenty of others, too.

“I’ve seen ’em myself,” Lewis said. “Just out of my kitchen window two days ago, I saw seven deer jumping over the gravel road I take every day.”

So perhaps now is a good time for everyone to review their approaches to driving, when it comes to encountering deer:

• Look ahead. “The best thing to do is keep scanning the horizon, left and right, left and right,” he said. “Be especially attentive, especially around sunup and sundown.”

• Don’t overreact. If you see a deer in the road, slow down and stop, if you can. Otherwise, “brake as rapidly as you can and honk your horn a lot,” Lewis said. “Serious accidents do happen occasionally when someone swerves to avoid a deer and they lose control of the vehicle — either heading into oncoming traffic or leaving the roadway and having a rollover accident, into a ditch or something. It’s imperative that you at least try to maintain your lane.”

Lewis saw a report from an accident Wednesday that illustrates the car-deer clashes that never seem to go away: About 6 a.m., a driver ran into a deer on Douglas County Road 458, east of U.S. Highway 59.

The driver wasn’t injured.

“Typical car-deer,” Lewis said. “Front-end damage and a deceased deer.”