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Do deer whistles work?

I smashed into a deer but good at 55mph in the new Mitsubishi Mirage. It actually came through this pretty well but will need quite a bit of work. The driver door won’t open, and the fender and hood are trash. I went and reviewed the dash cam video and there was no avoiding this one.

Do those deer whistles actually work or are they just snake oil?

Oh no. Sorry about that. Been there.

I will have to say that most people say they are snake oil but I have them on both my cars. It was also the first thing I did when we got our new car. I drive a lot in rural areas and some at night and these critters just come out of no where. The last straw was when I came up over a hill near South Dakota at 65 MPH and there he was. I was able to move over enough to just swipe him and polish the scratches out, but I went down and bought the whistles and put them on both cars. I haven’t had a close call since. Last night coming home there was one running across the road in a residential area six blocks from my house, so they are everywhere and nuts.

So do they work? Probably not, but have I had a close call in the last three years? Nope. Ya gotta do something, so work or not, I use them. You can’t drive 40 miles an hour all the time and even so I’ve had them almost run into a stopped car running back and forth trying to make up their minds (yes, more than one).

You do have to be careful to mount them correctly though. There is a left and a right and need to be in the center third of the car, etc. Just follow directions. Is it possible, having the car for such a short time, that you might want to just replace it with a new one without too much of a loss? When something like that happens to a new car, it kind of spoils the whole experience.

It’s not that deer can’t hear you coming, it’s that they are big stupid squirrels. Deer can hear mice peeing on cotton.
The problem with deer whistles is proving that they work is almost as hard as proving that a particular brand of oil makes your engine last longer.

Do They Work? Are You Kidding?

They work just as well as all those fancy fishing lures and sonic rodent repellants. Sales to humans are great and quite profitable.

My answer is essentially the same as Bing’s.
While I can’t prove that they work, I have lived in a heavily deer-infested area for almost 20 years, and I have never had a “deer incident”.

By contrast, during that same time period a friend of mine has had two deer-related collisions on roads adjacent to my house when coming to visit me. The second of his deer incidents was relatively minor, but the first one resulted in the totaling of his like-new Honda because his car went into a ditch when his brakes locked up while he was in the process of avoiding the deer. He doesn’t use deer whistles.

I have noticed that, when deer are in a field adjacent to the road, they tend to turn and look in my car’s direction as I approach, but I don’t notice this effect when I drive other people’s cars that don’t have deer whistles. Again, this doesn’t prove anything, however.

I certainly can’t prove that they work, but just on the chance that they do, the extremely low cost of these devices makes them worthy of consideration–IMHO.

If You Want To Find Out If They Work Then Turn To Organizations That Have Vehicles Driven Hundreds Of Thousands Or Millions Of Miles Annually In Rural Areas.

Look at rural law enforcement vehicles, major package delivery service vehicles, and postal service trucks. I’d bet that if they prevented collisions that you’ll see them there.

Years ago I was considering making an electronic speaker device which would emit the sounds of deer predators.
Why would a deer or elk’s hearing detect frequencies above what humans can hear?
High frequencies are attenuated in air much more than low frequencies. Would deer whistles be heard far enough away?

Using a microphone and oscilloscope, I would love to blow air against a deer whistle to see if they actually emit sound.

In the middle of the night I almost got hit by an elk.

Unless you are driving slow enough, I don’t think they work. I’ve never hit a deer, though I have come close in my neighborhood. We back up to a state park, and there are tons of deer that come out of the forest for a bite to eat. I don’t have th deer whistle, and I have never hit one.

I hit 5 deer in two years while driving a R mode Mack pulling two 45’ trailers on the NY Thruway. I had su\hut the truck down because of a massive oil leak and called for a wrecker. A wrecker had brought me a spare tractor and towed mine to a company shop.They refilled the engine with oil and completely missed the missing fuel pump bolt and sent the rig out wit a spare driver. When the engine blew 2 hours later, they replaced it with a rebuilt 300 hp engine.

The new engine was very clattery and I never hit another deer, I could see them lift their heads and head for the woods when they heard me coming.

So if you could make a deer alarm stat sounder like a 6 cylinder Mack in full song it might work::slight_smile:

This online reference
states that they do work, as long as you are traveling at > 30 mph.

there are some Before-and-After Evaluations which indicate they may work, but as their effectiveness depends on conditions, caution is still needed. “extra caution needs to be used in areas with vertical and horizontal roadway curvature because the noise might not propagate well in these areas.”

I'd bet that if they prevented collisions that you'll see them there.

You sometimes do. All it takes is one well-meaning employee to go out and spend his own money to stick them on the cars, and then the rest of the cops feel bad about making the guy feel like a dope, or just don’t care, and leave them on.

Logic isn’t really on the deer whistle’s side - - So the deer hear whistling from far away… How does that tell them “Get off the road!” when bright lights and blaring horns don’t?

Do they work? Tests have shown otherwise.
What works better is good headlights and careful driving. That’s not a perfect solution either, but it works better than the deer whistles.

The most careful driver in the world can’t do anything to avoid deer that suddenly leap from a wooded area directly into your car’s path. That is just one of the many reasons why I detest tailgaters, because a sudden application of your brake while trying to avoid a deer can lead to a rear impact from the guy who was traveling too close to your rear bumper.

However, driving “smarter” can help to some extent with avoiding a deer incident.
If you see a deer crossing the road ahead of you, assume that there will be a second, third, fourth, and possibly even more deer coming along after that first one, and…slow down!

Female deer tend to travel in groups, and failure to anticipate that more deer are likely to follow the first one you see can lead to…problems.

No solution will totally eliminate the possibility, but I truly believe that good headlights, appropriate speeds, and attention to the road could prevent a great many deer strikes. That last point, attention to the road, is IMHO a biggie.

I agree with VDC, some things just happen no matter what you do. No more than the deer whistles cost why not put them on.

I think I will try them for the cost. Sure, they may not work but if it makes me feel better and MAYBE helps avoid a crash, then why not?

I went over the dash cam video again and again and there was no avoiding this one. It came out of the woods at a dead sprint and was on the road instantly. I suspect something had spooked this deer and doubt a whistle would have stopped it either.

The auto body place said this is a big time for deer hits around here. Farmers are doing their hay which chases deer out of their normal fields and onto the road. The does are also having babies this time of year.

This one appeared to be alone but I don’t know. Yes, they are like squirrels but larger and more damaging. This one really more ran into me than me running into it. That is the same way the last time I hit a deer went. It just ran out right in front of me right as I was coming up to it and destroyed the driver side door. The two accidents are actually very similar.

VDCdriver: I live I deer country. My closest call was returning from Reno, NV. The Eastern sky was just starting to show light. A 4 point buck burst directly in front of me. I still had excellent reflexes and was able to brake and miss it. I have twice encountered groups of does (females) standing in the middle of lower speed roads. The first time was 6 of them. I stopped and they just stared at me. I moved closer to them with no effect. It dawned on me that I had a horn. That made them disappear in the blink of an eye. The second time was 4 of them I just hit the horn and they vanished.

Around here we call them “deer calls”. The local collision shop loves them. You know what scares deer more than light and sound? SMELL!!! If you could make them smell you coming they would never be near the road.

Man, that sucks! Did any of the airbags deploy? I was gonna say shame it didn’t happen in your OLD car but on the other hand you might have been hurt if it had been the old car. Times like that make one glad they bought a cheap car. Imagine how you’d feel if you had an 80 grand car!

Will your car be repaired? It seems that it doesn’t take much damage to total a Mirage, half of the used ones I see for sale have a salvage title.