For once in my life, I can say that I've lived the advice I am giving instead of just saying something and doing the opposite. If you see a deer while you're driving down a road in Missouri, there are lots of ways to respond, but there's one thing you should never ever do.

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The advice I'll give you involving deer in the middle of the road you're on agrees with what the Missouri Department of Transportation says. The odds are you will face this dilemma if you drive in Missouri long enough as the state says that in 2022 alone, there were almost 3,700 collisions involving deer and it's especially bad during the cold weather months.

What should you do if you suddenly see a deer in the middle of the road you're on?

Let's begin with the one thing you should NEVER do. If you see a deer and you can't stop before you cross where the deer is, NEVER SWERVE AWAY FROM THE DEER. That is the one guarantee that a simple deer collision could become tragic. If you swerve into the other lane, you jeopardize you and potentially another driver. If you swerve into a ditch, you're increasing the chances that you will be injured.

A few years ago, I was driving to the radio station in Quincy on a snowy morning. The roads were slick already, but that was made worse when a deer suddenly appeared before me. I slowed down as much as I could, but did not swerve. I did make impact with the deer, but the animal did not seem to be hurt seriously and ran off after I bumped his butt. My car only had minor damage. If I had ducked into the ditch, I don't even want to think how bad that could have been.

The Missouri Department of Transportation advises that you first try to slow down and observe where the animal will be moving, but they also say you should just keep going straight even if it means running into the animal.

It's better to get this concept into your mind now so you won't have to make a split-second decision if/when you encounter it. The odds say that you and a deer will end up in the same place in Missouri sometime. Best to do what you can to give yourself the best chance to not be seriously injured.

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