Do Deer Whistles Prevent Wildlife Collisions?
How a Deer Whistle Works, and Its Effectiveness
Wildlife on the roads is common in Montana. Many of those animals are deer simply doing what deer do best: wander around in search of food and mates. With our highways and roads crisscrossing the land, it’s no wonder that every year there are over 1 million collisions with deer (nationwide). Entrepreneurial people have come up with ways to help reduce those collisions. Those solutions come with varying success.
The problem is that that really aren’t any standards, and no tests that can be done to determine how effective different solutions are. Land bridges to help move animals over the roads, tall fences to prevent interstate encounters, and deer whistles all have the same goal. But how likely are you to avoid needing collision repairs if you slap a set of whistles onto your vehicle?
How Deer Whistles Function
The deer whistle attaches to the front of the vehicle, usually on top of the bumper. When the vehicle reaches a certain speed (usually 35-40mph) the wind is fast enough to make a sound like a whistle being blown. The idea is that any wildlife moving toward the road will hear the whistle and stop to determine the cause of the noise.
Why Deer Whistles Aren’t Really Effective
The problem with deer whistles is multi-layered. Let’s try to break them down simply. First, there are no guidelines or regulations for manufacture. The whistle may emit no sound, or a sound in a frequency the deer can’t even hear. Second, there are no studies that show the deer even stop or care about the whistle. It’s all based on the idea that you make a noise and animals look up. Third, there’s little evidence that the deer can even hear the sound when you’re traveling 80mph on our Montana highways. At that speed, you travel 115 feet per second; that’s a lot of distance in a short amount of time.
A Better Solution to the Whistle
So, deer whistles aren’t really worthwhile for your vehicle. They probably aren’t going to hurt, other than you end up with a little glue spot on the bumper when they break off, but your money would be better spent elsewhere.
Instead, the best defense against travelling deer is simply be aware while you drive. Pay attention to your surroundings, know where deer may come from. Be especially alert at sunrise and sunset, when deer are more likely to be on the move. And most importantly, slow down. It’s easier to stop a slower vehicle than a faster one. Read up on avoiding deer collisions in one of our previous blogs.
Auto Body Repairs in Billings, Montana
Collisions are going to happen. If you happen to smash into a deer, or any other wildlife, make sure you know what to do after the collision. Then, give us a call at 406-259-6328 and let’s get things arranged so you can bring your vehicle in to the best auto body repair shop in Montana to have it full restored to factory safety standards.