Last night I had a hankering for a late night snack so I headed out on the Burgman 650 Executive for a treat. At night on some of these North Carolina roads I’m always aware that a deer could be ready to bounce out on the road in front of me and last night I wasn’t disappointed.

A deer versus Burgman accident at speed would not be a desired event in my book. But what can you do to avoid getting hit by a deer, apart from dousing yourself in mountain lion pee or setting yourself on fire to warn deer off?

I did a bit of research and it was enlightening. Of course, nothing will beat just slowing down on back roads where you vision is limited at night to give yourself a bit more time and a bit less speed in case Bambi wants to go for a ride on your lovely Burgman.

Oh yes, it’s not only hitting a deer head on that is a worry, stories exist of riders being struck in the head as a deer jumped over them.

I guess the good news is that I could not find a single instance of a deer chasing down a scooter and hitting it from behind.

Deep Avoidance Tips:

  • When riding on a divided highway with a low cut median, ride in the far side of the left lane at night to give you as much space to see deer bounding out from the right.
  • When riding on back roads at night, reduce your speed to avoid arriving early at the scene of the accident.
  • In the spring, deer may be more common along the sides of roads that had salt applied to them over the winter. They love to lick the stuff.
  • Always cover the brakes at any time you think that you are in areas where deer may be.
  • Pay attention in areas where deer crossing signs are. They are there for a reason.
  • If a collision looks imminent then grab all the brakes you can and remain as upright and square as you can.
  • If you see one deer, others are probably in the area as well. Deer like to travel in groups. If one deer crosses your path, don’t get target fixation on it, once it is not a collision factor then scan for it’s group members.
  • Most deer accidents occur between sunset and midnight and the hours right before sunrise.
  • If a deer freezes when it sees your headlight, flash your headlight to break the “spell”.
  • Ride when you can with your high beam on.
  • Honk your horn to alert a deer you see.
  • Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer. The vast majority of deadly accidents occur from hitting something else instead, like oncoming traffic or an immovable object.
  • Watch the side of the road for reflections from deer eyes.
  • If you see a “black hole” along the side of the road, it could be a deer near the edge of the road but facing away from you.
  • Deer roam more in winter, looking for food. Expect to see more then.
  • If you’ve spotted deer along a road you regularly travel they’ll probably appear near the same area again. Deer have regular paths and routes they often like to follow.
  • Just because a deer is not moving, doesn’t mean it won’t. A deer running away from you can easily turn in front of you. In both cases, until you are past the deer, consider it to be armed and dangerous.
  • If you’re going to collided with the deer, get your head down as low as you can. At high speed you’re probably going to split the deer in pieces but a slower speeds the deer may slide up the front of your Burgman and take out the windscreen. Better to have it go over you than take you off.
  • Don’t become target fixated. If you continue to stare right at the deer your will head to that exact spot. Look to the side of the deer and pick a better path. It’s like looking at a pothole and then hitting it. Look where you want to go and you’ll go there.
  • You have two options when a collision seems possible, brake or accelerate to try to get ahead of it. Braking isn’t your only option.
  • Most deer collisions occur in Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Illinois.

    And after reading all of that, if you are feeling like a target for deer when you are riding your Burgman, don’t. Deer hit lot’s of stuff, like kids playing hide-and-seek.

    If you’re all depressed now after dealing with all this deer accident stuff, I think this video will make you feel better.

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2 Responses to “Motorcycles, Scooters and Deer Don’t Mix. Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer on Your Burgman.”

  1. Here is another solution! They make these deer “whistles” that you put on the front of the scoot. Your driving down the road creates a “silent” for you but loud pitch for the deer. They can hear you coming before you even see them and find the noice agrivating. They leave! There you have it.

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