Staying safe on the roadway as deer season peaks

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Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– It’s something most people don’t think about until it happens, but there are nearly 50 thousand deer-car crashes reported each year in Michigan.

“It’s the season when they’re mating and they’re moving around quite a bit too because hunters are out wrestling them out of the woods,” Meridian Township Police Lieutenant Rick Grillo said.

Lt. Grillo said if you hit a deer, pull over when it’s safe and make sure everyone in your car is okay, then call 911.

Dusk and dawn are when deer are most likely to be out and about, so you should be on the lookout during those times.

“That’s the most disadvantageous time for drivers because the sun in their eyes and there’s a lot of people on the roadways because people are coming and going from work,” Lt. Grillo said.

The first instinct for many drivers is to swerve, but Grillo said that’s the last thing you should do.

“The action after they see the deer if they try to swerve is usually a lot worse than if they just hit the deer,” Lt. Grillo said.

Instead, stay in your lane, and use your breaks. You can also honk your horn to possibly startle the deer into moving.

“If they see one deer there’s most likely going to be a group of deer coming so they really need to slow down and if they also have their passengers looking out that’s helpful too,” Lt. Grillo said.

According to Allstate insurance, in order for the crash to be covered under comprehensive, your vehicle must make contact with the deer… which means if you swerve, it’s considered collision.

“Comprehensive is definitely a good thing to have this time of year,” Jimmy McCravey, an Estimator at Driven Collision said.

McCravey said the average cost of repairs for these types of accidents can range from $3,500 to $4,500, and that this time of year, they have multiple people a day come in for repairs resulting from car-deer crashes.

“It’s hard for a deer they come out of nowhere,” McCravey said adding, sometimes no matter how vigilant you are “It just happens… it’s an accident.”

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