Dow drivers, take caution. Deer season is upon us. Deer-vehicle collisions can occur any time of the year, but the numbers are especially high during the fall and winter months. Nationwide, these collisions result in 150 deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and more than $1 billion in vehicle damage a year.
Michigan is one of the top 10 states where deer collisions occur.
The deer population is growing, and urban sprawl is displacing these animals from their natural habitats. Many can be spotted on rural roads near wooded areas, but others find their way onto highways and into suburban neighborhoods.
Be vigilant in early morning and evening hours, the most active time for deer. Use your high-beam headlights, which reflect in the deer's eyes, to see the deer better. Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away. Brake firmly when you notice a deer near you. Do not swerve. It can confuse the deer as to where to run. It can also cause you to lose control and hit a tree or another car. Be alert and drive with caution when you are moving through a deer crossing zone.
Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car/deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt. Don't rely on deer whistles, deer fences or reflectors to deter deer.Wear seat belts.If your car strikes a deer, don't touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call the police.
Look for other deer after one has crossed the road. Deer seldom run alone.