With deer hunting season here, citizens are reminded to be careful when driving this fall, and to remember “Don’t Veer for Deer!” according to Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich.
As the deer population becomes more active this fall, residents potentially will face more deer encounters on the roadway. Knowing how to react to deer on or next to the road is important to the safety of the driver and their passengers.
The best course of action when faced with a deer in the road is to brake firmly while staying in your lane, even if it means you are going to hit the deer.
The majority of deer crashes occur in the fall according to statistics, and on average vehicle-deer crashes result in 10 motorist fatalities each year. Most vehicle-deer crashes, death and injury occur when drivers veer from their lane, hitting another vehicle or a fixed object such as a tree.
The following tips can help drivers avoid a serious problem when encountering a deer on the road:
• Stay aware, awake, alert, and sober.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Watch for deer crossing signs.
• Be more alert in the fall and spring, but keep in mind deer crashes can occur at any time.
• Deer travel in groups. If you see a deer, slow down, as there may be others close by.
• Be alert for deer at dawn and dusk. Over 90 percent of deer crashes occur during these times.
• Do not swerve when faced with a deer in the road. Brake firmly, stay in your lane, and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop if possible.
For more information on deer crashes and safety, visit the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition website at www.michigandeercrash.com