Have you ever had a close encounter with wildlife on the road while riding your motorcycle? For one biker, a ride through the countryside turned into a heart-stopping moment when a deer decided to play chicken with him. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at this video submitted by one of our customers and discuss how to stay safe when sharing the road with wildlife.
The video was recorded using our K2 camera which has now been replaced by the K3 Motorcycle Dual Camera.
The internet is full of videos showing close encounters with animals, but few are as heart-stopping as the one captured by a biker in the video “Crazy Deer Plays Chicken with Biker & Almost Doesn’t Make It!” The footage shows a deer leaping out to cross the road and charging back again in front of the biker, narrowly missing him as he swerves to avoid a collision.
Understanding the Dangers of Wildlife on the Road
Wildlife can pose a significant danger to motorcyclists, especially in rural areas where animals are more likely to be present. Deer, in particular, can be a hazard, as they are known for darting out in front of vehicles with little warning. This behaviour is especially common during breeding season, which typically runs from October through December.
While it’s impossible to eliminate the risk of encountering wildlife on the road, there are steps you can take to minimise the danger. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Stay Alert and Scan the Road Ahead
One of the most important things you can do when riding in rural areas is to stay alert and scan the road ahead for potential hazards. Keep an eye out for signs of wildlife, such as tracks or droppings, and be prepared to slow down or stop if necessary.
Tip #2: Slow Down and Increase Following Distance
If you do spot wildlife on the road, the best course of action is to slow down and increase your following distance. This will give you more time to react if the animal darts out in front of you.
Tip #3: Use Your Horn and Headlights
If you encounter an animal on the road, use your horn and headlights to try to scare it away. Be aware, however, that flashing your high beams may cause the animal to freeze, which could lead to an accident. Instead, use short bursts of the horn and keep your headlights on low beam.
Tip #4: Wear Appropriate Gear
Wearing appropriate gear can help protect you in the event of an accident with wildlife. Make sure to wear a helmet, gloves, sturdy boots, and protective clothing that covers your arms and legs. This gear can help minimise injuries if you are involved in a collision.
Tip #5: Stay Centered in Your Lane
When riding in rural areas, it’s important to stay centered in your lane. This gives you more space to maneuver if an animal suddenly appears on the road. Additionally, staying centered can help increase your visibility to other motorists, which can reduce the risk of a collision.
Tip #6: Avoid Riding at Dawn and Dusk
Deer are most active during dawn and dusk, which are also peak times for motorcycle accidents involving wildlife. To minimise the risk of a collision, it’s best to avoid riding during these times if possible. If you must ride during dawn or dusk, make sure to use extra caution and be on high alert for potential hazards.
Tip #7: Take a Safety Course
Taking a safety course can help you learn how to handle unexpected situations on the road, including encounters with wildlife. Many organisations offer motorcycle safety courses that cover a variety of topics, including how to handle wildlife on the road. These courses can provide valuable information and skills that can help keep you safe.
Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, but it’s important to stay safe when sharing the road with wildlife. By staying alert, wearing appropriate gear, and using caution, you can minimise the risk of a collision with wildlife on the road and enjoy the ride.
Q1. What should I do if I encounter wildlife on the road while riding my motorcycle?
A: If you encounter wildlife on the road, slow down, increase your following distance, and use your horn and headlights to try to scare the animal away.
Q2. When is breeding season for deer, and why is this important for motorcyclists?
A: Breeding season for deer typically runs from October through December. During this time, deer are more likely to be active and may be more prone to dart
Q3. Can I ride my motorcycle in areas known for high wildlife activity?
A: Yes, you can ride your motorcycle in areas known for high wildlife activity, but it’s important to take precautions and stay alert.
Q4. What should I do if I hit an animal while riding my motorcycle?
A: If you hit an animal while riding your motorcycle, try to stay calm and assess the situation. If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately. If not, move to a safe location and call for help if necessary.
Q5. How do I know if an area is known for high wildlife activity?
A: Usually there will be road signs to alert you to the possible presence of wildlife on the road. You can usually find information about high wildlife activity areas online, or check with local wildlife agencies or park services.
The RSPCA have some advice for dealing with wildlife on the road. See https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/animalsontheroad