LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan drivers are being urged to exercise additional caution as deer-related car crashes reach a decade-long high point.
The Insurance Alliance of Michigan on Wednesday warned drivers about the increase in deer activity on the road, especially at the hours of dawn and dusk.
The most dangerous stretch of 2022 was the month of November, which saw 10,923 crashes reported — most of which happened between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
A breakdown of deer-related crashes in Michigan by county last year:
According to data from the Michigan State Police, 2022 saw the highest number of deer-involved car crashes in a decade. In total, there were 58,934 deer-involved crashes, a 13% increase from just the year prior, resulting in 1,633 people being injured and 11 people dying.
“It’s so important to be mindful during this time of year, and to watch for deer and remember that when you see one, it’s likely there are more nearby as they often travel in groups,” said Erin McDonough, executive director of the Insurance Alliance of Michigan. “When deer dart out in front of traffic, the instinct often is to veer away but it is important not to swerve, as you will likely cause more damage or hit something or someone else on the road.”
McDonough recommends the following safety tips to avoid a collision with a deer out on the roads:
- Watch for deer, especially at dawn and dusk, when they are most active. If you see one deer, approach cautiously, as there may be more out of sight.
- Deer often travel single file, so if you see one cross a road it’s likely more are nearby waiting to cross. When startled by an approaching vehicle, deer can panic and dart out from any direction.
- Slow down when traveling through deer-populated areas.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel with both hands, come to a controlled stop and then proceed to steer your vehicle off the roadway.
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