Michigan sees a rise in car-deer crashes

Michigan is ranked 4th for most animal-related collisions.
If you’ve noticed more road kill recently, you are not alone.
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 12:56 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If you’ve noticed more road kill recently, you are not alone. There has been a rise in the number of deer-related collisions across Michigan.

Related: Michigan State Police dashcam captures deer leap over car

In 2021, over 1,400 people were injured and 10 people died because of car-deer crashes according to the Michigan State Police. Six of those people who died were riding motorcycles, while the other deaths involved cars.

Michigan motorists report over 50,000 car-deer crashes annually, said Michigan State Police.

The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) gave the following tips to avoid a crash:

  • Stay aware, awake, and sober.
  • Vehicle-deer crashes occur year-round but are 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 you exit your vehicle.
  • Report the crash to the nearest police agency and your insurance company.

OHSP also reminds drivers to buckle up because seatbelts are the best defense in the event of a crash.

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