Remember the crazy lady from Fargo, N.D., who called in to a radio show and recommended moving deer crossing signs as a way to decrease deer-car collisions? Of course, her suggestion was absurd, but the problem of car accidents caused by deer is serious. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are around 1.5 million accidents in the U.S. each year involving deer that are responsible for more than $1 billion in damages and dozens of human fatalities.
An inventor of a device called Deer Deter claims his newest model could prevent more than one million animal-related automobile accidents each year.
According to an article on Foxnews.com, the automated electronic system uses a combination of light and sound to prevent animals from running into oncoming traffic in the dark of night. It literally stops them in their tracks before they cross the road.
The system is based around a series of small units that are placed on short posts along the roadside approximately 150 feet apart, facing away from the road. When triggered by the headlights of oncoming cars, they emit a high-pitched sound and strobe light that catches deer’s attention, causing them to freeze as if they’ve sensed a predator nearby.
The fully solar-powered device requires little maintenance. And, the newest models solve a problem found in the original design. The original device couldn’t react quickly enough on roads with high speed limits, 65 mph or so, since headlights don’t shine far enough down the road to set the devices off in time. To solve this problem, the latest generation of Deer Deter has Wi-Fi connectivity. One unit is set up further down the road from the others. When triggered, it activates the others daisy-chain style to stay far ahead of the approaching vehicle.
I’m a cynic by nature, and when I first read this, I thought, “Yeah, right.” But, according to the article, more than 11,000 of the units have been deployed in Europe near known deer feeding points and the installations have reduced collisions by up to 90 percent.
Check out the product on www.deerdeter.com and let me know your thoughts. Do you think it could work?