Blinded By The Light

Avoiding Wildlife – Vehicle Collisions

The Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service has released a new video explaining why deer and other large animals often stay motionless on the road when approached by cars, and offered tips for avoiding collisions with these animals.

The YouTube video, Avoiding Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions, explained that the eyes of a deer are stationary, so deer can’t move their eyes around as people do.

“So, to a deer, a car heading into its path may only seem like an object that’s increasing in size.” “Deer also see less detail than humans. And a deer’s keen night vision results from an ability to take in a lot of light, which makes headlights blinding.”


The video was produced by Sandra Jacobson, a U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist.  Jacobson said understanding how deer see the world could help people drive more safely on the road.

“Dawn and dusk are active times for many species of large animals which is, coincidentally, a time when people may be traveling to and from work.” “Choice deer habitat may overlap with human routes of travel, and certain road features, including adjacent or intersecting waterways, tend to attract deer and other large animals.”

The video was made to help educate Forest Service employees, but USDA said the information is relevant to anyone who drives.