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AAA: Don’t veer for deer

Last year, there were 51,103 vehicle-deer crashes, according to AAA.
Credit: Paul - stock.adobe.com

Firearm deer season starts Monday in Michigan, meaning more deer will be on the move. During this time, AAA is encouraging drivers to be even more cautious for deer while driving.

According to AAA, over 43% of vehicle-deer crashes happen in Michigan during the months of October, November and December. In 2020, five people were killed in deer crashes and another 1,400 people were injures.

Michigan has a herd of more than 1.6 million deer. Vehicle-deer crashes are expensive, costing at least $130 million in damages annually in Michigan.

Last year, there were 51,103 vehicle-deer crashes, according to AAA. Oakland County had the most crashes with 1,854, followed by Kent (1,712) Jackson (1,471), Ottawa (1,363), Lapeer (1,243), Allegan (1,242), Genesee (1,169), Clinton (1,131), Washtenaw (1,068) and Sanilac (1,064).

AAA offered the following safety tips for drivers:

Motorists

  • Stay awake, alert and sober.
  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.
  • If you see one deer, slow down. Chances are there are others nearby.
  • If a crash is unavoidable, don’t swerve, brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel, stay in your lane and bring your car to a controlled stop.

Motorcyclists

  • Stay awake, alert and sober.
  • Slow down and be alert for deer whenever you ride.
  • Cover the brakes to reduce reaction time.
  • Use high beam headlights and additional riding lights when possible.
  • Wear protective gear at all times.

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