When I went in to register the newly purchased vehicle, I mentioned that the other car had collided with a deer. The clerk mentioned that she used to live in California and in that state they use deer whistles in areas with high deer populations. She spoke with enthusiasm and conviction, giving the impression that California was much more advanced that Idaho.
After a little research, I have to question her confidence in these whistles. About the only verifiable positive fact about them is that the purely air operated whistles are not that expensive. It is probably not going to break anyone’s budget to try a $5 deer whistle. Purchasing an electronic sound emitting deer whistles might mean forgoing a date night or those new shoes you’ve been looking at. There are serious concerns that if it gives a driver any sense that they no longer need to watch for deer, or slow down if they see one, having deer whistle is a hazard.
Here are links to two thorough articles I found. The first is summary of various reports, which seem to show that there is at least no evidence that the deer whistles work. The second is both a field test, of sorts, for deer whistles and a comparison to claims made, both for and against. Information on deer whistles, it seems, is as bad as data collected on whether or not new fad diets work. There are too many variables and there is more emotion than fact.
So I am left to conclude that the things we learned in recovering (financially and mentally) from our son driving with a deer on his windshield are still those most useful things to keep in mind. Nothing replaces cautious driving and it is still a costly way to bring home dinner.