I don't believe there is anyone in Maine who doesn't know someone who hit a deer. Sometimes more than one. Sadly, some of us even know folks who've lost their lives due to accidents with deer. And as hard as they may be to find in the woods during hunting season, they come out to the road plenty.

But is there a safer way to hit a deer if you just can't avoid it? According to a post on Facebook from the Maine DOT, there is. And honestly, these steps would work for just about any large animal in the roadway. Moose, bear, maybe a stray cow... You never know?! Regardless, the important point is your safety.

Familiarize yourself with these steps:

  1. Apply your brakes, but don't make any bold moves with the steering wheel.
  2. Right before impact, let up on your brakes so that the nose of the vehicle rises up slightly. This will help keep the animal from rolling up on your hood.
  3. Do your best to aim for the tail end of the animal, as it will help push the animal out of the way more, reducing risk.

There's not much to it, but it could help minimize the damage to your car, and quite possibly save your life. Nobody wants to shuffle off this mortal coil any sooner than necessary, and who wants to end up in the hospital after hitting a deer?

Obviously, it would be ideal if you didn't hit one in the first place, but sometimes it's just unavoidable. Deer do what they want, and they don't always do what's best for them, or us for that matter. But at least we can take a couple basic steps to try and keep all involved as safe and sounds as possible.