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500,000 Auto Colliisons Involve Deer Every Year

It's early morning and you're beginning the long commute to work. You're going the speed limit (or maybe just a tiny bit over) and suddenly a deer appears in the middle of the road. Your heart jumps into your throat. What do you do?

Each year there are approximately 500,000 deer/auto collisions resulting in over 100 deaths and thousands of injuries. Each deer/auto collision costs the auto insurance industry about $2,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition (the experts in these matters) recommends the following steps:

  • Don’t swerve!

  • Brake firmly.

  • Hold on to the steering wheel.

  • Come to a controlled stop.

  • Pull well off the road, turn on emergency flashers and be cautious of passing traffic.

  • Do not attempt to remove a deer from the roadway unless you are convinced it is dead. An injured deer’s sharp hooves can easily hurt you.

Sometimes you can prevent what could be a deadly collision. The best course of action is to drive defensively and follow these tips:

  • Fasten your safety belts. They are the best protection for yourself and your family in the event of a crash.

  • Drive with caution all-year-round in deer habitat, especially on rural two-lane roads.

  • Deer can dart out from any direction without warning. Deer often travel in single file. If you see one whitetail cross the road, chances are there are more nearby.

  • Deer are most active near dawn and dusk, and especially during the fall mating season and in spring, when they are on the move to find food, often near roads, where the grass greens up first.

  • Be especially alert near deer warning signs. They are placed at known deer crossing areas and alert drivers of the possible presence of whitetail.