Truckers Weigh in on Swerving to Avoid Deer

Full story: WFMZ

To swerve or not to swerve. A nasty crash in Northampton County could be a lesson for drivers everywhere.
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1 - 20 of 29 Comments Last updated Jul 15, 2013
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mike d

AOL

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#1
Mar 24, 2009
 
If your in a big truck, just let off the gas, don`t turn the wheel at all. I`ve hit about 50 deer in the past 15 years without any damage to the truck or property. That might sound cruel, but it`s better then causing an accident.
john

Bethlehem, PA

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#2
Mar 24, 2009
 
Don't those trucks weight a few tons??? I mean how much damage could a 150 pound deer do to that???
Tango

AOL

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#3
Mar 24, 2009
 
as much as i love deer i say hit them, a truck that big swerving is a heck of alot more dangerous than just hitting a critter.
a human life could be at stake because of a swerving truck.
hit em' and keep going

why would a truck swerve out of the way anyway? isnt that a hard maneuver being the truck is so dang big and heavy? it just sounds like a dumb move
momom

Newark, NJ

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#4
Mar 24, 2009
 
hit the deer
FF-EMT

Schnecksville, PA

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#5
Mar 24, 2009
 
I wholeheartedly agree. Don't swerve. If it was another car or vehicle I can understand trying to avoid it, but a deer's just gonna leave a big stain.
only sensible

Allentown, PA

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#6
Mar 24, 2009
 
Did I hear this right ? 33,000 lbs of cargo, plus the cab and tanker weight ? That's upwards of 25 tons. You gotta just drive through that deer.
OLD MAN

Catasauqua, PA

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#7
Mar 24, 2009
 
Swerve for deer or fall asleep
you call it.
spooky1

Emmaus, PA

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#8
Mar 24, 2009
 
The only person that can make the choice, to swerve or not to swerve, is the person behind the wheel.Just like a stone hitting your windshield, u have no control over that situation.you can see the stone coming at you,sometimes.also have very little reaction time. That is why it is called a common road hazard.Deer accidents should be considered the same.It happens so fast ,sometimes there is little time to react.What ever the case the driver used his best judgement he could within the time frame he had.Swerving is a common reaction to an action. to avoid hitting .Like i stated before,only the driver can try his/her best.Everybody else can just assume.

Since: Jul 08

Location hidden

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#9
Mar 25, 2009
 
When I was growing up a friend of mine swerved(in a car) to miss a deer. Him and his father were on there way up to the Poconos to go hunting. His father was following him. He ended up flipping his car and he died on impact. His father came upon the scene. He never got over it.

It's strange. He was an avid hunter but he swerved to miss that deer. I don't know if instinct played a part in that or if he didn't want to kill that deer. I guess hunters can answer that. His father believes that he didn't want to kill the deer. He said hunting is a sport, killing a deer with your car is not.

Be careful out there truckers.
I'm glad that the trucker in this article is OK.
CaPA

Concordville, PA

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#10
Mar 25, 2009
 
OLD MAN wrote:
Swerve for deer or fall asleep
you call it.
fall asleep
judy

Bethlehem, PA

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#11
Mar 25, 2009
 
it is such a sad thing to hit a beautiful animal but if it means life or death of people there is no other choice. a man swerved once to prevent hitting a dog and killed a child. it is hard to make quick judgement at times.
Rick G

United States

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#12
Mar 25, 2009
 
That was poor advice from the instructor about using your judgment at the time . That's what that driver did and that's what others killed or injured swerving to miss deer or other animals have done . You have to precondition yourself and keep in mind the consequences of swerving . Animals aren't immortal neither are you . Why should you be the one to go sooner ?
only sensible

Allentown, PA

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#13
Mar 25, 2009
 
spooky1 wrote:
The only person that can make the choice, to swerve or not to swerve, is the person behind the wheel.Just like a stone hitting your windshield, u have no control over that situation.you can see the stone coming at you,sometimes.also have very little reaction time. That is why it is called a common road hazard.Deer accidents should be considered the same.It happens so fast ,sometimes there is little time to react.What ever the case the driver used his best judgement he could within the time frame he had.Swerving is a common reaction to an action. to avoid hitting .Like i stated before,only the driver can try his/her best.Everybody else can just assume.
If an animal runs out in front of me the last thing I think about is IT'S safety. Mine comes first. I can't see even for a second why you would make a dangerous maneuver and put your life and others at risk in a situation like this one. I guess it's just that my "natural reaction" is human preservation. Choice... The deer would have been killed, or the situation that ended up happening. Which, by the way, could have been MUCH MUCH worse ? I mean, come on... it's not like he was driving a Yugo. IT WAS A 25 TON TRUCK !!!! The best research I could come up with states that without a trailer, the average cab weighs between 17,000 and 25,000 LBS. The report said he was hauling 33,000 LBS of material, so my already conservative estimate doesn't even include trailer weight. That deer would have felt like nothing more than a speed-bump.
And on a side note, I'm sure the minimal damage to the truck would have cost far less than the hazmat response and evacuation did.
Drew

Mount Carmel, PA

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#14
Mar 25, 2009
 
Swerving to avoid a wreck in a car is one thing you risk the chance of it coming through the windshield and taking it in the face..
However when driving a truck with a gross weight of 80,000lbs it's no joke swerving to avoid an animal is a HUGE risk . Not only do you risk wrecking the truck if you can't recover you risk the hurting or killing someone from the motoring public if you take them out instead of the deer..
Many Large trucking companies tell you right upfront when confronted with a deer strike make NO ATTEMPT to swerve hit the deer/animal.. It is not necessary to take such a risk to avoid the hit.. You will not only risk your life but the lives of the public and the truck/cargo..
A hood/fender is a lot cheaper to replace on a truck than have a million dollar+ wreck or hurt/kill other people..
spooky1

Emmaus, PA

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#15
Mar 25, 2009
 
We look at animals as life, period, not as oh its a deer.Out eyes see a deer but our mind says life. How do you know That deer would have felt like nothing more than a speed-bump.You are assuming.That is why i said its up to the driver.To SWERVE OR NOT TO SWERVE..
Bob in Allentown

United States

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#16
Mar 25, 2009
 
With out a dead deer no one is really going to believe he swerved for a deer. Maybe he fell asleep and made up the story. You only swerved for humans!!! Anything else you break and hit it if it doesn't move.
Sam

United States

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#17
Mar 25, 2009
 
My gut feeling is to hit the deer versus causing a major accident. But until you are in that situation where you have to make that decision, you don't know how the person is going to react. Hopefully making the right decision. I personally do not want to kill any animals but you have to think of the consequences.
Concerned

Saylorsburg, PA

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#18
Mar 25, 2009
 
I am not sure, but I thought that the drivers that carry this kind of cargo are certified, it is not just a regular CDL license. And, I also thought that these drivers are taught how to handle this type of situation not swerve away from it, due to the fact that it could cause a greater loss, like another post stated, "150 lb deer vs. 80,000 lb truck/trailer" I think the deer looses. And heres a senario, 2 lane highway, truck passing in left lane and a right lane ***hole pulls in front of said truck, should he swerve to avoid this jerk your go right thru him? Humm.. take risk and jack knife truck/trailer and possibly take out a number of vehicles and possible lives from the right lane, or just one idiot. I'd take the idiot myself. LOOK before you try to pass someone on the highway, not once but twice maybe even three times, cause it could be your last!! And for truckers that haul hazordus freight, I agree with another post, it would be like a speed bump, you can always stop later and check damage to your rig.
liar

United States

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#19
Mar 25, 2009
 
I dont thik that guy swerved for a deer at all. That stertch of road he werecked on has limited access for deer crossin on to the road. I bet he was drivin fast and lost control.
Concerned

Saylorsburg, PA

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#20
Mar 25, 2009
 
liar wrote:
I dont thik that guy swerved for a deer at all. That stertch of road he werecked on has limited access for deer crossin on to the road. I bet he was drivin fast and lost control.
Maybe, only the driver knows the truth. But have you ever seen what terrain a deer can manuver? You'd be surprised. I saw one jump off a bridge and deep embankment, and keep going. Tricky fellas.

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