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If you frequently drive your car in a rural area of the country, then you’ve likely encountered deer running across the road. Sometimes they’ll get so scared that they’ll freeze and not move — as the saying goes, “like a deer in the headlights.” In an extreme case of this behavior, a deer filmed in a viral YouTube Short video got so scared that it stood and trembled in the middle of the road. However, thanks to an altruistic driver, the deer was saved and carried off to safety.

Viral YouTube video of driver saving a scared deer in the middle of a busy road

Driver gets out of car and saves scared deer in the middle of the road
Driver carrying deer | Tai Rebuilds via YouTube

Deer crossing the road is a common occurrence in rural America, especially during dawn and dusk when they are more active. I live in a rural part of Wisconsin, so deer darting from the forests across the road is something I need to be aware of when driving to and from my home. 

These deer and car encounters can be dangerous, especially when a deer freezes in the middle of the road. For me, one of the biggest close calls for a potentially dangerous car crash was when I drove home at night after skiing. A deer seemingly appeared out of nowhere and froze still on the road. I still can’t believe I managed to avoid hitting the deer — as I sharply swerved my vehicle. 

The deer in the YouTube Short video took fear to another level. The incident happened three years ago, but recently, the video, posted on the Tai Rebuilds channel, has gone viral with over 16 million views and counting. 

On a busy road, the deer trembled in fear as she wouldn’t move from her spot near the yellow center lines. While it’s not uncommon for deer to freeze in an encounter with a car, usually it’s momentary — before they dart into the fields or forests. However, this scared deer wouldn’t budge.

Driver stopped his car and then carried the terrified deer to safety

Thanks to the kindness of an animal-loving driver, the scared deer was saved. An unknown man stopped his vehicle and then approached the deer. Like Hercules, he grasped the deer with his arms and hoisted her up close to his chest. He carefully lifted her so as not to strain his back. As one of the YouTube commenters wrote, “I don’t know what I am more impressed by: him saving the deer or his proper use of body mechanics when lifting the deer.”

After picking up the deer, the man, seemingly using all his strength and energy, carried her to a sidewalk near the side of the road. With the legs of the deer wiggling, the man gently let her down. He saved the deer from a possibly dangerous collision.

The scared animal then likely headed off to the nearby forest. A second YouTube commenter wrote, “Kudos to this man who got out to help the deer. Would be really nice if everyone was like this.” Another wrote, “Legendary are those who [do] these kinds of work, and they don’t even let us know about their actions.” 

There are around 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year in the US

Driver carrying scared deer to the side of the road
Driver carrying deer | Tai Rebuilds via YouTube

Deer collisions with vehicles are a major problem, so the deer in the YouTube video was lucky to have survived. According to the Humane Society, there are around 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year in the United States. Part of the problem is the increased deer population. 

Typically, when there’s habitat loss, the population of animal species goes down. However, at least indirectly, the habitat loss has resulted in an explosion in the deer population. This is because deer are an “edge species.” They graze foliage at the edge of forests. While there’s less forest habitat overall, there are now more pockets of forests. As a result, there are more edge areas for deer to graze. 

Furthermore, deer are attracted to road-salt use in the winter. Plus, the frequent mowing of roadsides attracts deer, for it creates succulent plant growth. 

How to avoid hitting a deer with your car

The Humane Society recommends several measures to avoid hitting a deer with your car. First of all, be vigilant for deer in rural areas, especially in sections with low visibility and during dawn and dusk when deer are most active. Also, deer tend to be more active in the fall, when bucks (male deer) roam around during the rutting and hunting season. Spring is another period of higher activity — as yearlings scout out new territory.

Furthermore, be on the lookout for groups of deer. They typically travel in groups, so if you see one cross the road, there’s likely another one not far behind. 

For your driving, the best preventative measure is to go slowly, especially in areas where deer frequent. If you see a deer, slow down even more, and watch for others to follow. 

Also, do your best to drive straight. While my sharp swerving to avoid a deer was a successful maneuver, the Humane Society recommends that drivers don’t do this. Swerving can result in a deer running into a vehicle. Additionally, you might hit another car or a pole when you swerve. Instead, firmly step on the brakes and blow the horn.

Another recommendation is to use your high beam headlights at night. The high beams light up the side of the road, where you can see the eye-shine of the deer.


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