By Michael Morse | October 1, 2008
With the start of Michigan’s hunting season just around the corner, Governor Granholm has just declared October to be “Car-Deer Crash Safety Awareness Month” in Michigan. Car-deer collisions increase greatly in October and November due to natural mating movements as well as influence from hunters. Michigan has a deer herd of over 1.75 million.
There were nearly 62,000 such crashes last year, but the number may be much greater since many car-deer accidents are not reported. These collisions account for $130 million in property damage annually, but also result in numerous deaths and injuries. In 2007, 11 motorists died and 1,614 were injured in car-deer collisions. In 2006, 12 died and 1,676 were hurt. Motorcyclists are at particular risk for serious injury and death, accounting for 7 of the deaths in 2007 and 9 in 2006.
Although a majority of the crashes (80%) occur on two-lane rural roads between dusk and dawn, drivers should always be aware for deer. Most deaths and injuries occur when drivers swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Instead of hitting the animal, the car hits a tree, another vehicle, or some other object. If a crash with a deer is unavoidable:
- DON’T SWERVE!
- Brake firmly
- Hold onto the steering wheel with both hands
- Come to a controlled stop
- Steer the vehicle off the road
If you or someone you know are injured in a Michigan car accident, call the Auto Accident Claim Center at 800.281.0606, or visit us on the web at michigan-auto-attorney.com.
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