Fall is prime time for vehicle-deer crashes. With over 1.7 million deer roaming Michigan’s urban, suburban and rural areas, these types of crashes occur throughout every month of the year and pose a serious hazard to Michigan drivers. Car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents involving deer seem to be on the rise in Michigan.
During 2010, there were 55,867 car-deer accidents, which translates into one crash every nine minutes. Car-deer crashes cost Michigan drivers and their insurance companies more than $130 million in vehicle damage. The average amount of repairs to a car that strikes a deer is around $2100.
While vehicle-deer crashes are costly, they can also be deadly. In 2010, 11 people were killed in crashes with deer and another 1433 were injured. Nearly 80 percent of these crashes occurred on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn. More than half of all Michigan car-deer crashes happened in the southern lower region, especially in Kent, Oakland, Jackson, Calhoun and Lapeer counties where 15% of accidents involving deer occurred in 2010.
Motorcycle accidents involving deer can be most deadly as riders have little protection if a crash occurs. By reducing speed and using high beam headlights when possible, motorcyclists may have more time to spot an animal and react. If riding in a group, spread out in a staggered formation to reduce the possibility of several riders being injured in a crash with a deer.
Some tips to reduce your chances of being injured in a deer-related crash are:
1. Stay awake and stay sober.
2. Remember fall and spring are prime times for deer activity, but accidents occur throughout the year, especially between dusk and dawn.
3. Observe deer crossing and speed limit signs. They are posted to alert drivers to a known deer crossing area.
4. If you see one deer, there may be others right behind. Deer are herd animals and travel in single file.
5. Wearing your seat belt is one of the best defenses in avoiding injury in an accident.
Most serious injuries occur when motorists swerve or veer out of their lane to avoid hitting a deer and hit another vehicle or fixed object, such as a tree. If a crash is unavoidable:
1. Do not swerve. Brake firmly, hold on to the steering wheel and bring the vehicle to a controlled stop.
2. Pull off the road, turn on your emergency flashers. Watch for traffic if you exit your vehicle.
3. Report the crash to the nearest police department, and call your insurance company.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call the Law Offices of Henry Hanflik for a free consultation at 810-720-4000 or 888-905-4632. We can help you now!