Friday, November 07, 2014

A narrow miss with a deer on a country road near the Blue Ridge, in the Virginia Piedmont

I had a narrow miss with a deer at around 6 PM, after dark, driving east bound on US 211 betweem Sperryville VA and Washington VA, in a section where the highway is four lanes, divided, but with a speed limit of 55 because the highway does have intersections, though not many.  The large deer was standing astride the two lanes.  I slammed on the brakes and burned rubber but did not lose control f the car.  I did not feel a thump or notice any damage.  However, it could have been possible to run over a foot or leg, and leave it collapsed.  I do not believe I was going over the speed limit.  The auto diagnostic warning light system does not show any problems, and it can detect tire damage or low pressure when it occurs. 
Fauquier County News reports a man lost control of a car and died near Warrenton, VA that same day, before dawn that morning, story here.  I’ve since learned that the Virginia Piedmont, near the Blue Ridge, has some of the highest incidence of deer crashes in the nation in the fall, during mating season. 
American Family Insurance in Madison WS has the recommendations for avoiding deer crashes, link.  Natives who live in these areas often use deer whistles, but it is not clear that they work. 
I was driving with low beams, so as not to annoy other drivers.  But the Indiana DNR recommends using high beams in deer-populated country during the autumn mating season, and other sources recommend special reflectors. Deer vision goes to higher wavelengths than human.   Many people think that deers are confused by high beams, however. 

When I came home, later that night, I had a stopped bathroom drain with was found to be from a rat that came in from the sewer lines.  It’s going to take surgery to get it out.   

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