Auto Insurance in Michigan Warns Drivers to Stay Alert When Deer Maybe Present
As the winter months quickly approach and temperatures continue dipping, deer activity on streets and vehicle accidents involving them continue rising. According to the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition, there is an average of one hundred and twenty-five deer crashes involving vehicles in the Great Lakes State daily. However, many of these crashes go unreported to car insurance in Michigan.
Drivers are most likely to encounter deer from dawn to dusk, but accidents involving deer can occur during nighttime hours too. Between the months of October and December is the annual breeding, or rut, season for deer. For those living in southern states, these breeding months could extend further into January. When deer are searching for their mates, their behavior is very unpredictable and active. It’s important to use caution when driving during these times of the year, when in areas known for deer activity.
How to Stay Aware of Deer
Even though it’s common for country roads, heavily wooded areas, and farmlands to have high deer populations, urban and suburban areas can also see them on their roadways as well. If a driver sees one deer, it’s important for them to remember they’re a herd animal. Another will likely follow, so be prepared.
Deer are not necessarily frightened by headlights. In fact, the lights will most likely cause them to stop on the roadway right in their tracks. Studies have shown that reflectors and vehicle mounted whistles designed to keep deer away have proven ineffective. So, drivers shouldn’t depend on them.
What Drivers Should Do if They Hit a Deer
Call the local law enforcement agency to notify them of the incident or emergency services if injured. Remember to notify your auto insurance company. File a report of the accident as soon as possible. Also, because deer are not predictable animals, it is not advisable to approach them. They could leap into the roadway and cause another accident if approached, or cause personal harm to anyone approaching them.
How to Stay Safe and Prevent Accidents
One of the most basic ways for drivers to stay safe in their vehicles is to keep their seatbelts on no matter where they are driving. Michigan Coalition’s deer crash statistics. There has been a decrease of reported accidents with deer in between the years of 2013 and 2014 from 49,205 to 45,690. These numbers reflect how drivers are staying more aware and alert of their surroundings. Staying safe also involves driving either at or slightly below the posted speed limit in areas where the deer populations are high.
Michigan Deer Crash Statistics, Michigan Deer Crash Coalition
Avoiding Deer/Car Collisions, Car and Driver