A little science on motorcyclists hitting animals (mostly deer)

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Frostback, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Cpt. Ron

    Cpt. Ron Advrider #128

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    I wonder how bear strikes come out in the analysis.....
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  2. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    Feral hogs hits at night are a big problem here in Southwest Florida. Almost impossible to see them at night.
    #22
  3. crazyjeeper

    crazyjeeper Been here awhile

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    I'm surprised it is that high. I doubt even 10% of the other riders I see have helmets on, and maybe 1% have additional gear.
    #23
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Kangaroo's - which admitted not many of you will get to hit.

    I decided on a 'best chance of surviving' strategy a few years ago, I'd had quite a few roos run into the side of me with only bruises and the damned things are unavoidable around here.

    Pre-planned strategy.

    1) Aim for where I want the bike to be after the crash i.e. don't try and avoid the bastard, just aim for a point where I'm not going to do secondary damage after the impact.
    2) Brake like crazy until just before the impact.
    3) Be damned sure the brakes aren't on at impact.

    It happened, collected a roo head on , the strategy worked. (Week old bike as well)

    Big thud, bike got launched but I ended up still in my lane further up the road when I landed it again.
    (Hey I'm upright. O.K. heart, you can start beating again now)
    Used the rear brake to slow the bike since I assumed front end damage.

    Parked, looked at the bike, big splashes of mud and hair all over the right side, hair in the right brake rotor and over the bash plate, blood on the lower suspension knuckle.
    The gods have been kind, may as well finish my ride. Rode fairly gently for the next ten minutes in case there was damage, after that - no worries.

    I'm guessing impact speed was <40kph, but with the shock, who knows.

    So, all I can say is "Worked for me, your mileage may vary". Yes there was luck, but I suspect that's near optimal - statistically :lol3

    Pete
    #24
  5. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    I came really close to hitting one about a year ago (deer). It was sheer luck that I didn't, and I was close enough to hear his hooves on the pavement, over the KLR and through my helmet.

    It was in town, a bit earlier in the fall, and early in the am (pre-sunrise). Luckily he literally jumped out of nowhere and my non-reaction probably saved me from over reacting.:rofl
    #25
  6. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    Few year's back i met a bloke in Canberra that had a similar incident to yours. He told me he was on Tharwa rd, and according to him, as the road straightened out, he was going for 200, when a roo jumped in front of him and he hit it straight on, he wasn't sure of the speed he was doing, flat out anyway. He thought he was done for. The impact was hard enough to bend the forks, he never dropped the bike though. I used to ride in the area and the roos there are in plague proportions. Never hit one while on a bike, or a car for that matter, came close plenty of times. I'd rather collide with a roo than a wombat, that's like hitting a rock!
    #26
  7. chollo9

    chollo9 Screwed the Pooch

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    This is key, think about how things are likely to unfold and how you plan to act (vs. react). Deer, 'roos, etc. aren't gonna run you down from behind, nor are they likely to come strolling down the center of the lane. Consider the probable scenarios and come up with some preplanned strategies. No guarantee of success, but it sure does increase your chances.

    Rule number one (for me): Where there is one deer, there is likely another following it, so look behind the one you see, not at it.

    Rule number two: If you're really close to hitting a running animal, aim for it's ass, it will probably not be there by the time you reach it.

    And like PeterW said, get off the brakes right before impact, you may be able to steer around it at the last instant, but not if you're braking hard.

    YMMV, but this is my plan.
    #27
  8. Frostback

    Frostback Frostback

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    Different strokes for all but My plan is to assess the animal's behavior then concentrate as hard as possible on a safe place where the anima isn't and is not likely to be. I would think aiming for it's ass is a problem waiting to happen. First, you might hit it, second, it might swap ends and third, some critters like porcupines, snakes, wood chucks, and armadillos are sort of symetrical and it can be hard to tell ass from head at a momen's notice. Maybe there are some people like that that you know eh?

    Lee
    #28
  9. chollo9

    chollo9 Screwed the Pooch

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    I totally agree, Lee. I'm talking about when it's an, "Oh shit, I'm gonna hit it!" situation, not when there's still time to look for options. And aiming for the ass end really only works with fast movers, so telling which end is which isn't too hard, unlike those people you're referring to.
    #29
  10. henryroten

    henryroten Been here awhile

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    I believe that this question fits the thread; has anyone tried a deer avoidance device like the Hornet, and with any success? I know it is hard to analyze but if such devices help in scaring the deer away then probably worth a try. I know some people call them 'deer attraction devices' but I recall Motorcycle Consumer News doing an evaluation on the Hornet and felt that it was helpful.
    #30
  11. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    After a rather expensive collision between my full size van and a nice buck, bought one of them electronic devices. Waited for the deers to feed in my compost and turned it on from the shop, less that 50' away. One of them lifted his head for a second or two....went right back to eating.:evil

    I returned it....!:wink:
    #31
  12. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Scrub off as much speed as possible while going straight. Make contact with a deer while turning/swerving you are almost assured of crashing. (I will never attempt to swerve around a deer)
    #32
  13. Gonzoso

    Gonzoso Been here awhile

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    Once in a blue moon deer will turn around if startled, but usually they keep going straight across the road. Aiming for the ass is good technique, the odds are in your favor. I always see deer run forwards, seldom backwards.
    #33
  14. verge

    verge Adventurer

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    I live in deer country and have hit one in my truck and one on my bike. I should say they hit me. Both occasions the deer have ran into the side of me. Both times were at dusk before the sun was above the mountains. I had almost no warning either time. I have had a ton of them run out in front of me even in broad daylight. My are not very afraid of humans so the hang out near the roads a lot. Deer whistles dont work. The bummer is that all my favorite roads and trails are where the dear live. Smacking one with your bike at 75mph will make you more allert next time. I broke my tib and fib but kept the bike off the ground. I was lucky. Keep your head on a swivel, day or night when riding any place the deer may live.
    #34
  15. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    Ride faster! Seriously.

    Think about this, deer only haul ass when startled, right?
    So go faster....BUT have a quiet bike (i.e exhaust). When I would ride around in deer country of MT, ID, SD,OR, etc. I noticed if I ride slower and more cautious, the deer would dart out in front of me.
    I started to speed up a bit more, I noticed they would start to move later in my passing, so I went even faster. They did not have the reaction time to jump out in front of me.

    There is nothing in the middle of the road for them to eat, sniff, etc., and they sure as hell ain't making Bambi on the yellow line. They are usually just off the side of the road. Unless you have knobbies, they are not where you are, so just pin the bike and have fun.

    I have done this in many heavily deer populated areas, and it is neat to watch their faces when you zoom by at 80 mph. "WTF!!" is how they look.


    Now this is not a process for everyone, so take it with a grain of salt. I grew up where forest creatures roamed and ruled.

    ok, flame on......and yes I am serious. :lol3
    #35
  16. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Hum salt!:rofl....up here they certainly like the middle of the road.:eek1 Licking residual road salt....they like.:wink: Lots of cracks in my local roads for the salt to accumulate, sometimes just outside of a blind curve...!:wink:
    #36
  17. BCKRider

    BCKRider Been here awhile

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    I've read too many "deer threads" to think there is any universal answer. There are just WAY to many deer in almost all parts of North America. Hell, in British Columbia, Canada where I live there are reports of small dogs being killed by deer within small cities while being walked by their owner!

    There is a lot of good advice on how to REDUCE your chances of hitting a deer with your car or bike.Let me summarize it: 1. Don't ride from dusk until dawn. The deer are more active then and much harder to see. In a car, use your cruise control set to 50 mph. Hit a deer at that speed in a modern car and you will probably be OK. Maybe not if you are going 65. 2. When forest or brush is close to the road - slow down. 3. October through December is mating season and these dumb animals are at their dumbest. Use even more care during daylight hours if you are riding in these months. 4. When you see a deer at the side of the road, brake hard. The ones that carry on the gene pool will stay there. But they have many suicidal brothers and sisters. 5. If a deer crosses the road well ahead of you, get on the brakes. High chance more will follow. 6. If you have a chance to aim the bike before maximum breaking, aiming for the butt makes sense. 7. There are too many reports of deer running into the SIDE of bikes and other vehicles. Nothing you can do about that.

    A friend and his wife were struck by a deer crashing into them after leaving a "breakfast ride" a couple years ago. This was in May and at mid-day, not one of the dangerous times or months. They both recovered from their injuries, but that ended her career as a pillion rider.

    Besides deer, Canada geese and mallard ducks have increased 100 fold since I moved to B.C.in 1970.

    I think the only answer to the species that have increased beyond their own good is licensed market hunting. And I don't think that will happen. Most likely disease will eventually reduce the numbers to a low number. And I think that is sad.
    #37
  18. duck

    duck Banned

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    ^ This.

    I was riding open country mid-day in MT once. Saw a group of five deer off to the right about a quarter mile ahead of me. I slowed down and, sure enough, despite seeing me on the road, they ran right down the bank and across the highway right in front of me.

    The only predictable thing about deer is that they're unpredictable.
    #38