Deer are such beautiful and gentle creatures when they are in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, they often venture from their woodland homes and into the path of oncoming traffic. The result is often a very tragic end for the deer, the car that hit the creature, and the human occupants of the automobile. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 150 human lives are taken and a billion dollars in auto damage is caused by the 1.5 million collisions that occur between a deer and a car each year.
Companies are now taking steps to develop products that deter deer from entering the path of an automobile. Utah recently tested one of these products, appropriately called Deer Deter. The device is attached to a tree or post on a rural highway and it produces a whistling sound as cars approach. Placing these devices within 150 to 300 feet of each other allows deer to be aware of cars entering the area.
In addition to an audible signal, Deer Deter also uses a small strobe light to alert deer to impending doom. The hope is that the device will prevent a deer from heading directly into traffic or becoming hypnotized by car headlights. Deer Deter even alternates the sound and light patterns so deer will always be on their toes.
The high-pitched sound of the device is not likely to reach the ears of humans unless they are driving slowly and have their car windows down. This makes the device friendly to both people and animals and the ability for it to save the lives of both is a welcome situation. Deer will stay in the woods or on the side of the road eating their meals and the humans can zoom right along to their destination.
In May, one hundred of the Deer Deter devices were installed on a two-mile stretch of Utah highway. From 2005 to 2009, 130 deer died on this stretch of road. Since the Deer Deter devices were installed, no deer have died there. However, authorities say additional testing time will be required to judge the effectiveness of the device.
Source: Teeghman, David. DiscoveryNews. Deer-Startling Device Gets A Tryout In Utah.