Staying safe during vehicle-deer crash season: What to know

Posted at 3:11 PM, Nov 12, 2019

There were 5,958 vehicle-deer crashes in Southeast Michigan in 2018, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

“For many in our region, hunting season is an exciting time of year,” said Kathleen Lomako, Executive Director of SEMCOG. “These statistics are a great reminder for each driver to be as alert behind the wheel as a hunter is in a tree stand.”

The crashes, which had a slight increase from 2017, represent 17 percent of crashes statewide.

The top 10 communities for vehicle-deer crashes in the metro Detroit area in 2018 are below:

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Additionally, here are the numbers for vehicle-deer crashes by county in 2018:

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SEMCOG shared the following safety tips:

  • Stay aware, alert, and sober.
  • Buckle up. Safety belts are the best defense in any collision.
  • Be alert for deer in October, November, and December, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Slow down. Heed deer crossing and speed limit signs, particularly on two-lane roads. Note that deer frequently travel in groups. If you see one deer crossing or standing alongside the road, chances are there are others nearby that you might not see.
  • Don’t veer for deer! If a crash is unavoidable, don’t swerve out of your lane to avoid deer. Instead, brake firmly while securely gripping the steering wheel to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop. Then, safely steer your vehicle off to the side of the road.
  • It’s generally safer to hit the deer than run off the road or risk injuring another motorist.