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Vehicle-Deer Crashes

While the state's two million deer are most active in spring and fall, vehicle-deer crashes are a year-round problem. Each year, there are more than 60,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan. About 80 percent of these crashes occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn. The most serious crashes occur when motorists swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or a fixed object, or when their vehicle rolls over.

 

Here are some tips to avoid a crash:

  • Stay aware, awake, and sober.
  • Vehicle-deer crashes occur year-round, but be especially alert in spring and fall
  • Signs are placed at known deer crossing areas to alert you of the possible presence of deer.
  • Deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file. If you see one deer cross the road, chances are there are more waiting.
  • Be alert for deer, especially at dawn and dusk. If you see one, slow down. 
  • Don't rely on gimmicks, flashing your high-beam headlights or honking your horn to deter deer.

 

If a crash is unavoidable:

  • Don't swerve. Brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel, and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.
  • Pull off the road, turn on your emergency flashers, and be cautious of other traffic if exit your vehicle.
  • Report the crash to the nearest police agency and your insurance company.

 

Remember to buckle up, as seat belts are motorists' best defense in the event of a crash. 

 

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