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A Driving Decision

itsme
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Registered: 07-04-2007

A Driving Decision

Did I make the correct driving decision this morning to avoid a Muntjac?
Time was 4:00am so still dark driving in the left-hand lane of a dual carriage way doing 70mph. Then saw in front of me at a distance of 50m a stationary Muntjac just standing to the left of the centre line markings facing towards the other dual carriage way. What would you do?
26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: A Driving Decision

If there's nothing behind you, brake hard and prepare to swerve?
itsme
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Re: A Driving Decision

Which direction
pierre_pierre
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Re: A Driving Decision

definitely brake as hard as you can, in Essex there are a number of driver deaths per year through deer strikes
http://www.deercollisions.co.uk/pages/news.html
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Re: A Driving Decision

Agree with HP, but hit the horn as well, which direction?, probably to the right as the Muntjac nearest point of refuge would be the left (left of centre line)
itsme
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Re: A Driving Decision

70mph, braking hard, swerving hard to the right?
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Re: A Driving Decision

Not hard, but prepared to, your on a dual carriage way (2 lanes each direction, barriered central reservation), the Muntjac is in your part of the carriage way on the left hand side of (your) centre line, nearest point of refuge is to the Muntjac's left (your left), assume there was no hard shoulder.
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Re: A Driving Decision

Quote from: itsme
Did I make the correct driving decision this morning to avoid a Muntjac?

What DID you do?
Any damage?
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Re: A Driving Decision

Yes...what was the outcome Shocked
Quote from: http
Muntjac deer can be something of a traffic hazard, as they do not readily move out of the way of cars.
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Re: A Driving Decision

Seeing as most cars have Anti locking brakes I'd stamp on the pedal. I drive a big french luxo barge which has bad brakes (all 3 of them have been the same) and I stamped that bad boy so hard one day I cracked the windscreen. No, nothing made impact the crack was literally the force of the brakes putting pressure on the screen.
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itsme
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Re: A Driving Decision

Quote from: Strat
Quote from: http
Muntjac deer can be something of a traffic hazard, as they do not readily move out of the way of cars.


That's so true.
Since working nights it's a common problem of animals being on the road and I given up on trying to predict what they are going to do. So with rabbits I just normally drive straight as I found that I hit less then if I try to swerve to miss them.
As an example 5 minutes before the Muntjac I was going around a roundabout and a rabbit was on the nearside of the car running away from it and was clear then turned around and run straight in front of me towards the roundabout which is probably where it lived.
Backed to the Muntjac. I braked, not hard because I would not have stopped in time and if I was going to swerve I was not sure how much grip the road was going to give me as that time in the morning roads are a bit damp. Also the day before the temperature at the same time was 1C. I waited to see what the Muntjac was going to do as it did not move when I was about 10-15 yards  I swerved to the right to go behind it as I only had to swerve 2 feet. The Muntjac then decided to change direction and make for the left verge. So hit it just left of the offside, now have a creaked and damage bumper and spoiler with a lump of Muntjac hair.
Afterwards I thought the logical swerve would be to the right for the reasons @jounrneys gave but I only could do that as soon as I saw the muntjac, because I waited to see what it was going to do the right swerve was then not an option.
I was surprised how focused I was when I first saw the Muntjac to when I made the decision. Probably because unlike hitting a rabbit the outcome for me and the vehicle was more unpredictable. 
itsme
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Re: A Driving Decision

Quote from: okrzynska
Seeing as most cars have Anti locking brakes I'd stamp on the pedal. I drive a big french luxo barge which has bad brakes (all 3 of them have been the same) and I stamped that bad boy so hard one day I cracked the windscreen. No, nothing made impact the crack was literally the force of the brakes putting pressure on the screen.

Braking hard you also lose steering and/or more likely to lose control if you turn hard.
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Re: A Driving Decision

Glad you personally came out of it unscathed as it could have been far more serious.
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Re: A Driving Decision

Five years ago, had a collision with "an animal" thought to be a small deer when driving my previous Mondeo. Unfortunately I didn't have the "luxury" of 50m warning, it just appeared in the headlights directly in front of me (I remember seeing its eyes)
Although I stopped immediately I couldn't locate the "body" so it was either flung into nearby hedges or it survived being run-over and ran off. Because run-over it definitely was, doing nearly a grands worth of damage to the underside of the car including smashing the air-con radiator and knocking out the steering geometry.
My insurance company was not best pleased as it was unrecoverable loss. They paid out, but I have suffered the increased premiums ever since.
Edit: I was not travelling that fast having only just turned left into the road maybe 100-150 yards before the collision, so I doubt I was doing much more than 30-35 mph. I was quite astounded at the amount of damage caused.  
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itsme
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Re: A Driving Decision

I too can remember it eyes.
50m at 70mph is not that far. At 70mph you are travelling approximately 35 yards per second and the stopping distance including reaction time is approximately 80 yards. As I did not braked hard as in an emergency stop I probably was still doing 40 to 50 mph when I hit the Muntjac. I did not stop as the incident happened on a bend and on a dual carriageway and with a lot of HGV's on the road at that time.
I still need to check under the car to make sure that they is no damage to make the car unsafe.