Mid-Michigan is hot spot for car-deer crashes

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s the time of year when deer are on the move and that can put your family in danger on the roads.

Michigan State Police looked at car-deer crashes from last year and released a list of top ten counties for that type of crash.

Much of mid-Michigan is high on the list, with Ingham, Jackson and Eaton counties all in the top five.

When the trees start changing colors, just know that deer are on the move.

“We are starting to see a slight increase and I suspect that’s going to increase dramatically over the next month or so,” said Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand.

Looking at car-deer crashes in Michigan counties from 2015, Jackson County comes in with the third highest.

“Jackson is a real mix of rural and urban area. Typically we see crashes as people are leaving the country, at what would be considered highway speeds, into what would be the more urban areas,” Rand said.

When you see a deer darting out, the sheriff says use your brakes as smoothly as possible.

“Brake, but to not steer to avoid the dear,” Rand said.

He says you may be better off just hitting the animal rather than going off the road and slamming into a tree.

“The car-deer accident is going to damage the vehicle. But obviously much less than hitting a stationary object,” Rand said.

The sheriff says you may not have control over the deer, but you can control your speed.

“It’s the times that you’re driving faster than you should be driving, or when you swerve to avoid a deer that we see the more injurious accidents occur,” Rand said.

The sheriff says if you hit a deer, pull off to the side of the road, put on your flashers, and call 911 so police can come out to clear the roadway and make a report.

The top 10 counties with the most deer crashes were:

  1. Oakland: 1,873
  2. Kent: 1,528
  3. Jackson: 1,324
  4. Lapeer: 1,230
  5. Ingham: 1,087
  6. Eaton: 1,071
  7. Washtenaw: 1,062
  8. Genesee: 1,037
  9. Calhoun: 1,009
  10. Montcalm: 999

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