Michigan Drivers: Caution, ‘Don’t Veer for Deer’
As the days grow shorter an increasing number of deer become active in Michigan. Drivers are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant for these animals while navigating the roads.
“With the onset of whitetail deer mating season and more traffic in the woods than normal, fall is a particularly dangerous time for deer-vehicle crashes in Michigan,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokeswoman, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “Shorter days call for motorists to be on the lookout for deer, especially at dawn and dusk.”
According to data from AAA, as the Firearm Deer Season begins, with nearly 600,000 hunters preparing to embark on their outings, it’s important to remember that more than 42.7 percent of vehicle-deer collisions occur in Michigan during the months of October, November, and December.
Last year, the Michigan State Police shared a video showcasing a deer jumping over a car at night, with a close call with a trooper. The video was shared to emphasize the importance of driver awareness. This is especially important given that deer can unexpectedly appear on roads, particularly when hunters are active in wooded areas.
#DeerLeapsOverCar— MSP Fifth District (@MspSouthwestMI) September 22, 2022
Fall has arrived,🍁with that comes the infamous increase of 🦌crossings. Watch here as Tpr. Anderson encounters a small herd & uses quick braking to avoid contact.
Reminder: If deer cross your path - apply controlled braking; steer straight; don’t swerve. pic.twitter.com/5NtQ6KBe5o
Don’t veer to deer.
AAA notes that deer tend to be most active during the hours of dusk and dawn. It’s recommended to exercise extra caution during this period. While deer may be more frequently found in rural areas, they can also be encountered in urban settings. They can surprise drivers who may not be paying full attention. With Michigan’s approximate deer population of 2 million, says AAA, it’s likely that you will come across a deer while driving.
In the event that a deer suddenly crosses your vehicle’s path, it’s important not to swerve. Officials say doing so may increase the risk of a more severe collision with another vehicle or object. Instead, AAA suggests maintaining your vehicle’s straight path and applying the brakes firmly, as there may be other deer nearby.
If you find yourself unable to avoid colliding with a deer, AAA advises you to pull over to the side of the road after the incident. They then say to promptly contact the police and your insurance provider. Make sure to inform the authorities if the animal remains on the road, potentially obstructing traffic.
Once it is safe to exit your vehicle, be sure to take pictures of the damage for potential use when you file an insurance claim.
When you do exit your vehicle, exercise caution and refrain from approaching the deer. If the animal is still alive, it may exhibit aggression and pose a risk of harm to you.
Check out more AAA safety tips here.