Each year, hundreds of thousands of drivers hit or nearly hit deer while driving. Usually these drivers are moving at speeds higher than 50 mph. It is easy to see, then, why deer near the roadway pose such a great risk to the life and safety of those travelling our nation's roadways. Why would anyone not want to make every attempt to alert the deer to stay out of the way?
For years now, drivers have been using deer whistles to do just that. Deer whistles are growing in use in rural areas that have a high incidence of car-vs.-deer collisions. Learn why deer whistles may be a car or truck accessory that you need to add to your automobile, learn how they work, what their limitations are, and what other ways you can keep your front bumper free from deer hair.
How Do Deer Whistles Work?
I'm sure everyone has seen a cartoon, movie or TV show depicting a person blowing a dog whistle. The person blows and blows because they cannot hear anything, but soon all of the dogs in the neighborhood come barking down the street. These whistles work in a similar way.
The Deer Whistles emit a high frequency sound that can be heard as an alerting sound for deer on or near a roadway. The deer hear it and instead of freezing like they do when they stare into a car's headlights, they move away from the road as they are timid of the odd sound. It is not that the sound scares the deer, but alerts them to the vehicle's approach in time for them to stop from crossing the roadway.
When Do Deer Whistles Not Work?
Well, obviously deer whistles do not work when they are either not installed or not installed properly. Definitely follow the instructions given by the manufacturer for installation, as each product may require slightly different installations.
Other than that, the deer whistles may not work as well in rain or bad weather. If moisture is covering the holes in the whistles their sound may be less amplified or have a distorted tone. If the moisture is heavy enough, the whistles may not emit a sound at all.
Also, the whistles may not work or may not work as well if they are dirty. Any dirt, insect splatter, or road grime may block or clog the hole of the whistles, so you will want to make sure to keep them clean and clear of debris.
It Happens Fast!
Most of the whistles are placed on the front bumper of the vehicle. One is usually placed on each side of the bumper, just below and toward the middle from the headlights. Some of the whistles have a left or a right designated on their whistles, while others do not.
Some deer whistle buyers place their whistles on a grille guard or large Ranch Hand style bumper. That is fine in most cases but you have to make sure that the whistle will be able to get the appropriate amount of air flow that is undisturbed by a bar or other wind disturbance.
You will want to follow the specific installation instructions given with the particular product you purchase.
You will want to take the whistles off when washing your vehicle. If you choose whistles that cannot be removed and reapplied, or slid out of a base and then slid back in, then you will need one that has great adhesive and also remember to be very gentle when washing around it.
Other Ways To Protect Your Car From Deer
Another trick, besides whistles, to avoid hitting deer is to use the road to make a warning sound. By that I mean you can purposely drive over the reflectors on the road to make a warning sound as you enter curves or approach hills that conceal the road ahead. This does not keep a deer from running in front of you if he is already startled, but can help to alert deer that are near the roadway and unstartled.
Besides these two ways of keeping your vehicle deer-free, there is not much you can do. So be sure to drive cautiously, be prepared to brake, and never swerve into the oncoming lane!