Can high-tech prevent deer/auto collisions?

by Carla Schroder

Modern automobiles are quite amazing. Computerized everything, GPS, less pollution, more power from smaller engines, incredible reliability, and comfort and amenities galore.


I propose one more gadget: some kind of day-and-night vision critter radar. With all of this great technology there still isn't any way to keep deer off the roads, so I want a gadget that will detect the darn things before I flatten them. Twice this year already I've hit deer. The first one was just a nudge, and I hope the fool critter learned a lesson. But the second one was pancaked- 6500 pounds of diesel pickup at 45mph is unforgiving. (At least it was quick, a small mercy.)


Folks out here know to watch out for deer. During the fall hunting season, and early spring when they're coming down out of the hills to eat the new grass we're on high alert. We know they're going to be crossing the highway. But no matter how careful we are, some collisions are unavoidable. It feels awful to hurt or kill a deer this way.


So what do you think, geeks and gurus? Would some kind of critter radar, especially something that works at night and in bad weather, be practical? You can buy a fish- and depth-finder for boats for under $100, why not something similar for land animals? It would sure save a lot of heartache.


Anyone thinking of suggesting those little sonic deer-repellers that mount on the front of your vehicle, nice thought. Unfortunately they don't work.


This inspires another thought- if natural selection really works, shouldn't all wild animals be vehicle-savvy by now? Haven't the dummies been killed off before reproducing?


Would some kind of critter radar for vehicles, something that works day and night and in bad weather, be practical?


12 Comments

willyyam
2006-03-17 12:51:44
Animal adaptation
Deer don't get much chance to learn about vehicles - the lessons are too often fatal. The remaining population does not get the benefits of one animal's untimely demise. Moreover, cars have appeared only in the last hundred years, far too brief a span to have a species adapt to it. People, with our powerful brains and the ability to learn from abstractions and communicate dangers verbally without needing first-hand experience, still die by the thousands in pedestrian-vehicle accidents. You expect more from deer?
macrat
2006-03-17 13:36:39
Yummy
On the other hand, deer meat is good eat'n.
carlaschroder
2006-03-17 18:44:59
Animal adaptation
Hmmm, good question. For all of human's supposed gifts, we're don't seem to be functioning with any more foresight or appreciation of consequences than your average deer...


Chui
2006-03-18 01:21:19
Check out Shoo Roo
http://www.shuroo.net/
DeanG
2006-03-23 21:28:41
Safety and the Insurance industry
Yes, but can it keep the lawsuits away? Will it create a "4x4 effect" false sense of security?


Googling for "General Motors Deer Detection" brought up a bunch of great links. such as this one (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_03/b3967001.htm) noting an infrared method.


Looking forward to this stuff., but don't discount deer whistle technology just yet. (http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220050040935%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20050040935&RS=DN/20050040935) :-D



Chuck McGuire
2006-04-24 19:59:33
I don't think that the Pentagon has the resources to devise this. I have had them T-Bone me while I was going down the highway at 65 mph, and once hit three at once while poking along at low speed. Fortunately, none of the 7 deer that I hit were apparently seriously injured, although my truck was not so lucky. The radar on the F-14 could track something like 24 targets simultaneously, but the range of the Phoenix missle gave the RIO a little lead time. These suicidal ungulates work at far too close range I'm afraid.
J-Dizzle
2006-05-30 21:27:14
I have hit 1 deer and had 2 hit my truck and i would love for a device to be created to to prevent hitting the poor things the only time i wanna hit them is when im hunting with my bow.
scott
2006-06-16 15:07:00
I have a device that installs between the horn button on the steering wheel and the horn. when the horn button is held down, the device cycles the horn on/off at 7 times per second. it really gets the deer and many other animals the hell out of the way fast.
Scott
2006-12-09 20:04:38
Check out the new product "RapidHonk" .It modifies your vehicles horn to pulse on/off at a rate of 7 times per second for as long as you lay on the horn button. The pulsing causes a profound flight response in deer and many other animals, helping to avoid collisions. Google RapidHonk deer horn for more info.

2007-03-27 14:12:40
Deer are suicidal... they wait out there behind hills and in ditches and try to get hit. They are also some of the most stupid, unpredictable creatures on earth antelope are a head of the deer and would not be caught dead crossing the street without looking both ways first! I have hit 6 in the last 3 years and am sick of them!
davidrtrails
2007-06-20 17:11:11
Check these out and you may change your mind about deer avoidance electronic devices.
Herm
2007-10-10 05:30:59
I agree. I would like some electronic device not a wind generator type. It needs to be consistant at any speed. A speaker to reproduce high frequencies can be small and weatherproof. Why not modulate the transmitter like the horn type device? As a motorcycle rider, Deer really scare me. I have heard 2 cases of deer running INTO the side of the motorcycle. Where are the insurance companies on this. They pay out millions in repairs to vehicles. I hit one in January to the tune of $5000.00 damage causing both air bags to deploy. Lets get a solution for this!