WESTLAND, Mich. – In 2014, Michigan experienced 45,690 vehicle-deer crashes, of which 1,072 people were injured and six were killed. The lion’s share of those collisions – 26,312 –occurred during dark, unlighted hours, primarily between October and December, according to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, a subsidiary of the Michigan Office of Highway Planning.
Michigan is ranked 10th in the nation for vehicle-deer collisions and your chance of hitting a deer with your car in Michigan is 1-in-97, almost double that of drivers in lower-ranked states, according to State Farm. But there are steps you can take to avoid the dangerous scenario that entails your car, a deer, and the road:
- Drive cautiously at night. Deer are nocturnal animals, which explains why the majority of vehicle-deer collisions in Michigan occur at night. Shine your high beams while driving on unlit roads in order to spot deer further ahead. Those few seconds of extra sight could be the difference between you slowing down in time or – gulp.
- Drive slow if you see a deer crossing sign; it’s there for a reason. Just as humans populate cities, deer congregate in herds in certain areas more often than others. Heed the sign’s warning and drive cautiously.
- If you see one deer crossing a road, assume more are coming. Even if a deer crosses the road ahead of you and reaches the other side before you’re close, the best thing to do is slow down until you’re out of the area. Deer tend to travel in groups, so other deer not visible to you at the moment could be preparing to cross the road.
- Don’t swerve if a deer jumps in front of your car. If you have to hit a deer, firmly apply your brakes, grasp your steering wheel with both hands, and continue forward. It’s safer for you to hit a deer than it is to swerve, which could take you into oncoming traffic, a tree, or a ditch.
- If you have to hit a deer, do it at the lowest possible speed. Contrary to the myth that you should maintain or increase your speed when hitting a deer, it’s better to reduce your speed as much as possible. People commonly fear that braking will cause your bumper to dip, thus causing more danger for you. But if you hit a deer at a high speed it causes the deer to absorb a greater force of impact, which is dealt back in full force to your vehicle.
While your chance of hitting a deer with your car in Michigan is higher than in other states, you can greatly reduce your likelihood of becoming a statistic by following the tips we’ve laid out. But if you do find yourself with a damaged front end after an encounter with a deer, bring your vehicle into our Plymouth car dealer and we’ll make sure you receive the right car repair to make your vehicle look great again.
North Brothers Ford is located at 33300 Ford Rd Westland, MI 48185 and proudly serves as one of the premier dealerships in Metro Detroit, committed to exceptional customer service! Stop by, or give us a call at 888-806-7163, our knowledgeable and helpful sales team will be more than happy to assist you!
Visit our website: www.northbros.com