According to a study conducted by State Farm, Michigan is the eighth most dangerous state for motor vehicle collisions with large animals such as deer, moose and elk. On average, one of every 85 Michigan drivers will have an insurance claim for damage from hitting a deer.
The Michigan State Police post this caution on their website,
“While the state’s two million deer are most active in spring and fall, vehicle-deer crashes are a year-round problem. Each year, there are nearly 50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan. About 80 percent of these crashes occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn. The most serious crashes occur when motorists swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or a fixed object, or when their vehicle rolls over.”
Here are 2016 Michigan deer – vehicle accidents broken down by the numbers:
$4,179 Average cost for damage.
1/7 One out of seven Michigan accidents is caused by hitting a deer.
1/4 That number increases to one out of four October and November.
1.75 Michigan deer population in millions.
46,870 Total deer accidents.
45 -64 Age group with the most deer collisions.
14 Deaths caused by accidents.
1,240 Total injuries from deer accidents.
580 Deer accidents on I-94.
596 Deer accidents on I-96.
6-8 Time of day (morning) when most deer accidents occur.
6-11 Time of day (evening) when second most deer accidents occur.
2 Percentage of drivers who were violating traffic laws when they hit a deer.
130 Deer accidents in Scio Township.
54 Webster Township accidents.
40 Dexter Township accidents.
The Michigan State Police offer these tips 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 waiting.
Be alert for deer, especially at dawn and dusk. If you see one, slow down.
Don’t rely on gimmicks, 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.
They also advise: Wear your seat belt. Drive cautiously. Talk to your teen drivers.