October through December is the time of year when vehicle-deer crashes are most common, with 22,545 crashes in Michigan in 2018. 

 Oakland (1,851) and Genesee (1,136) counties are two of the top counties for this type of incident. 

 F/Lt. David Kaiser of the Michigan State Police said dawn and dusk are when these accidents happen most. He said never to veer for a deer. 

 “Most people lose control and crash into something else like a tree or another vehicle,” Kaiser said. 

 In 2018, police responded to 53,464 vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan. Approximately 1,335 people were injured and 14 were killed.

 The October-December time span accounted for 42 percent of all vehicle deer crashes in 2018, with November having the highest number. 

 The majority of these crashes occurred between 7-7:59 a.m., and the most common type of vehicle involved are passenger cars, SUVs and vans. 

 Linden Police Chief Scott Sutter said his department responds to several deer-vehicle incidents a year. 

 “Keep an eye for more. If a deer crosses in front of you there is a likelihood that more will follow,” he said. “Deer are most active at dusk and dawn. Slow down and stay alert. Brake and don’t swerve. If you see a deer stay calm and brake firmly. Do not swerve and stay in your lane.”

 It is illegal to claim a deer carcass without a permit. If you do take the carcass, you must report the accident to the authorities. You can ask a law enforcement officer for a permit to keep a deer carcass. You can eat the meat yourself, or you can donate the meat to charity.

Source: Michigan Department of State Police, Office of Highway Safety Planning 

Some tips from the MSP 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 following.

• Be alert for deer, especially at dawn and dusk. If you see one, slow down. 

• Don’t rely on gimmicks like 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.

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