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Report: Deer crashes are down in Michigan, but driver beware

Posted at 10:42 AM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 10:42:42-04

A new report from State Farm Insurance shows deer crashes are down in 2018 for Michigan, but the state actually moved up in a nationwide ranking.

Michigan is now at No. 8 on the list, with a one-in-80 chance of hitting a deer with your car. That's up one spot from the year before.

According to State Farm, nearly 88,000 deer claims were reported between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

November remains the worst month for crashes, with October coming in a close second.

If you hit one, on average, it costs around $4,341 in damage, according to the study. That's up $162 from the year before.

Deer crashes are covered under the comprehensive coverage of an auto policy, not under collision coverage.

You can read the full report online.

In addition, State Farm offers the following tips for drivers:

- Stay Alert. Pay attention to 'deer crossing' signs and be cautious in areas near woods or water.

- Use High Beams. Flicking your high beams on a deer in the road may cause the animal to scurry away. High beams also help illuminate dark roads.

- Don't Swerve. If a deer-car crash is inevitable, maintain control of your vehicle and don't veer off the road.

- Brake as Necessary. If you can avoid hitting the animal, reduce your speed, honk your horn, and tap your brakes to warn other drivers. If there are no drivers behind you, brake hard.

- Remember Peak Season. Deer crashes happen most during October through December, which is hunting and mating season. Collisions are most likely to happen in West Virginia, Iowa, Montana, and Pennsylvania.

- Remember Meal Time. Watch for animals in the road between dusk and dawn.

- Watch for Herds. If you see one deer, there are probably more nearby.

- Don't Use a Whistle. No scientific evidence supports that car-mounted deer whistles work.

- Wear Seat Belts. Always obey speed limits and wear seat belts.