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Thread: Deer Strike: To swerve or not to swerve

  1. #61
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    If you're marketing deer whistles, of course they work, and you can provide all sorts of testimonials from sheriff's departments about how they haven't had a single deer strike since installing whistles on all their vehicles.

    If you're a scientist, studying deer physiology and behavior, you might note that the hearing range of deer is about the same as for humans. So, if you can't hear the high frequency sound, neither can a deer. And you might note that the installation instructions for deer alerts call for mounting two at least 4 feet apart, which might look rather silly on a bike. You might also note that to work properly, the whistles must have clean orifices, and if a bug happens to splot right into the orifice you wouldn't know the whistle had stopped making noise.

    None of the safety organizations and insurance companies who have studied deer strikes confirm that deer whistles do anything (other than turn a profit for the salesman).

    However, motorcycle safety is something of a black art. It's entirely possible that how you feel about a situation will change the outcome. That's why we have Gremlin Bells and other such talismans. When you are crossing Fairy Bridge between Douglas and Castletown on the Isle of Man, you are advised to shout, "Good day to you, fairies" to avoid some consequent flummery.

    As Ron Ayres (Iron Butt rider, author, tour operator) put it to me once, "I know deer whistles don't work, but I just feel better having them on the bike."

    So, follow your heart.

    However, I kinda like the idea of blasting the horns while I'm hard on the brakes. At least it's a test to see if the horns are still working.

    I also had an encounter while driving my yellow Can Am Spyder. A buck had leaped across the road in front of me, and had turned to leap back. When he saw the two beady "eyes" on the Spyder, he absolutely froze in his tracks. Of course, maybe he was just curious about the Spyder.

    pmdave

  2. #62
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Dave answered the question, but I thought I'd throw in something I read quite a while back that went something like this:

    1. You've got to assume that the whistle actually makes a noise
    2. You've got to assume that the whistle noise is louder than engine/tire noise
    3. You've got to assume that deer can hear the noise the whistles make
    4. You've got to assume that deer will run when they hear that noise
    5. You've got to assume that running deer head in an appropriate direction

    That's an awful lot of assumptions.

    In discussions with riding buddies we figure our best plan of action is to head toward the deers hind end if we can't stop in time. Assuming we see the deer in the first place.

  3. #63
    copandengr
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    Deer Whistles

    Here is a link to Snobum's site detailing the scientific testing on the deer whistles....Their conclusion was that they do not work. These tests were performed on anesthetized deer and their brain activity was monitored over their hearing spectrum....

    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/deerwhistles.htm

  4. #64
    chaconja
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    well...that answers it.

  5. #65
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    One other thing about deer whistles. How the heck is the deer supposed to know what it means, assuming the deer hears it? Is there a school where they are taught what to do when they hear a deer whistle?

  6. #66
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    It should be obvioius to a thinking person that the whole concept of deer whistles (air movement or electronic generated) is faulty. The predominant evidence is that they don't work to cause deer to avoid collisions.

    It's not just that deer very likely either do not hear the noise, do not understand the meaning if they do hear, or are otherwise uninterested in high frequency noises.

    IMHO, the conceptual problem with deer whistles is that the rider assumes the other guy will get out of his/her way. I'm a firm believer that a rider who wants to survive the ride needs to get out of the way of everyone else on the road, whether a driver on the cell phone, or a deer leaping onto the pavement. Yes, I realize there are sometimes true emergencies where you can't see or recognize the hazard until too late, but I also realize that a great many crashes could have been avoided if the rider had been more aware of the situation, and took evasive action sooner.

    pmdave

  7. #67
    chaconja
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    In my limited experience of riding a motorcycle, i believe there is no magic bullet for deer. The best thing to mitigate the likelihood of running into one would be to maintain situational awareness.

  8. #68
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaconja View Post
    In my limited experience of riding a motorcycle, i believe there is no magic bullet for deer. The best thing to mitigate the likelihood of running into one would be to maintain situational awareness.
    Phooey, nearly any bullet will work for deer. It's just hard to get a shot off when you're riding one handed and swerving.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  9. #69
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    If you're interested in harvesting your very own Venison steaks, consider the best locations:

    http://www.statefarm.com/aboutus/_im..._with_deer.jpg

    pmdave

  10. #70
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Venison is good eatin', but be careful when you get out to your stand...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #71
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    Unpredictable

    Much like cagers deer are very unpredictable in what they do when on the road. I try a combination of swerves and braking but you can never be sure which way the critter will bolt. I learned that the hard way the other night when one darted in front of me in a blind turn with a car coming the other way. I ended up clipping the animal but had slowed down substantially by the time of impact so damage to myself and bambi were minimal.

  12. #72
    Go Leafs Go CANADIANSTEVE's Avatar
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    One of the problems that I have found here in CT., is that when I go slowly at night being careful, other motorists tailgate me without mercy, the glare from their headlights makes it near impossible to see what might be lurking ahead. I suppose it is because they think that they are invincible, as they go speeding past, which of course they are not. Even the idea of hitting a carcass in the roadway gives me shivers. I hit a raccoon up in Nova Scotia one time, luckily with the car, but the coon was big enough to rip the protective covering right off the undercarriage. Be careful out there !!!
    steve now in CT
    moved from Toronto
    92 R100RS

  13. #73
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    I teach various car stuff. Sometimes on tracks, sometimes to newbie drivers on basic manuevering skills and making choices (one of the course uses a skid car). For one of the newbie course, parents are required to attend the classroom part and participate in some of the in car simulations as well so they can reinforce stay alive behaviors to kids who always think they're invulnerable. BTW, in that course it is not rare to see folks under 20 who've already had more than 3 accidents- I can remember as high as 7 but that's probably not the record. These folks are out there with you when you're riding!

    In all types of stuff we cover two basic ideas
    1) Never give up. Until the vehicle comes to a stop, you can exert control to minimize potential damage and injury.
    2) Anything that lowers impact g's is the best choice (eg never choose anything that could result in a head on or hitting an immoveable object). Bambi is a lot softer hit than a 2 ft thick oak tree but adding speed before you hit anything is just plain dumb.

    The number of folks who scream, take hands off the wheel, head for a ditch or a potentially occupied left lane, lock up the wheels and let it slide into something when steering around would be easy is amazing. No doubt our traffic officers see the results of this behavior every day. We need video games with tasers in the controls when a crash occurs so they learn better habits before they own a vehicle.....
    years ago I had a girlfriend tell me once that when something sudden happens when she's driving she tended to take her hands off the wheel and cover her eyes! Never found out if it was true or not since I never let her drive when we were out on a date! (even if we were taking Her car! When she drove off at the end of the night after letting me off, I'd close My eyes! Ha Ha!)

    RM

  14. #74
    ridgerunner
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    near miss on the brp

    wow, great stories and insight here. i was at the end of a 400 mile day in the heat near roanoke. i was in that hazey zone, cruising along about 75 when i came over a knoll and saw a huge fully racked buck in the road. i was not going to be able to stop. i got hard on the brakes and downshifted (neglected the horn as i was too busy). the buck started slowly on the center line moving away from me. i began bracing for impact. they're like 2 year olds on the road, no way to know where they're going to go. at the last second when he realized i was going to impact him, he turned toward me and literally threw his head on the pavement, pointing his rack toward me in defense. i was probably down to about 30 mph and just did a slight swerve and went right by. i kept waiting to feel pain and looked down to see if i was cut, but nothing!

    my take-away (besides slowing down etc) is to continue to ride the bike while doing everything to mitigate force of impact and wait to see if there's an evasive maneuver at the last second. i know i was extremely fortunate.

  15. #75
    rocketman
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    Dude! If he had his head down and was facing you why didn't you just ride up his neck across his back and then down his tail and be done with it? How many can say the jumped a deer (longways no less!) at 30 MPH? Not many, I bet! (and there is probably a good reason for this that I shouldn't need to explain! )


    Not hitting something is always good!
    RM

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