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Deer make Airman pay special attention while driving

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- While driving on base it is important to be careful of possible obstructions in the road. Deer and other wildlife are very prominent on Vandenberg, and cross roadways frequently. (photo courtesy cherrypoint marine base)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- While driving on base it is important to be careful of possible obstructions in the road. Deer and other wildlife are very prominent on Vandenberg, and cross roadways frequently. (photo courtesy cherrypoint marine base)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg's 43 miles of coast is host to a number of different species of wildlife, including deer. With the multitude of deer running through Vandenberg, it is no wonder motorists often get an unwanted, up clise and personal view of the animal. 

This year 41 deer strikes have been recorded on base by the 30th Security Forces Squadron, that number is expected to double when including strikes not reported to 30th SFS, said Edward Panas, a 30th SFS conservation officer. 

Although a driver cannot predict when a deer might jump in the middle of the road, there are actions a driver can take to be proactive to avoid a deer strike. 

"Speed limits are posted for a reason," Mr. Panas said. "It is important for people to drive in accordance to both the day and night speed limits." 

But speed isn't the only reason.

No matter what time of day, using caution on roads that are unfamiliar can decrease the chances of a driver hitting a deer, Mr. Panas said.

When seeing a deer cross the road, be prepared for more deer behind it. Deer often travel together, he said. 

When being confronted with a deer it is better to hit the deer rather than to swerve.

"It is important that if a driver is about to hit a deer that they don't swerve," Mr. Panas said. "Swerving will more than likely cause more damage to you and your car."
 
With the summer coming to a close it is easy to get wrapped up in tasks and responsibilities. However, it is important to remember that safety should continue to be a top priority for every member of Team V. With deer preparing to enter a rut, or mating season, at the end of the month, knowing what to do right before an accident can save your life.