Deer and driver’s safety: How to be smart and share the road

There are over 1.75 million deer in Michigan. And according to the Michigan State Police, there are nearly 50,000 reported deer-vehicle accidents just in the state of Michigan, 80 percent of these deer related car crashes occur between dusk and dawn on two-lane roads.

Senior Mia Tucci who has been driving for a year now, says she see deer almost everyday on her drive from school to home.

“Yesterday when I was driving home from school I saw 13 deer,” Tucci said, and add that she doesn’t remember her required driver’s safety courses ever addressing anything about what to do if you encounter a deer on the road.

The result of Melissa Wilkins’s deer-car crash on January 19, 2018

According to State Farm Michigan drivers have a 1 in 85 chance of hitting a deer in Michigan. The most serious car crashes involving deer occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and end up hitting another vehicle, another object, or causing their vehicle to roll.

With a majority of high school students driving on the road, how to do we avoid these dangerous and often costly accidents?

The Michigan State Police offer a few help tips for when driving on the road. Deer and car collisions occur year-round, but be especially alert during the spring and fall seasons. Keep a keen eye out for deer while driving, especially during dawn and dusk. When you see a deer crossing the road, slow down or stop, deer herds often walk single file when traveling. And please don’t rely on gimmicks such as flashing your high-beam headlights or honking your horn to deter deer.

In senior Jaden Vroegop’s case, she never hit the deer, but instead the deer hit her.

“I was driving with my dad when a deer hit us. We didn’t hit the deer, it just ran right into our car door and left a huge dent,” Vroegop said.

And when a crash is unavoidable, do not swerve! Instead, break firmly and hold onto your steering wheel. Then pull over with your emergency flasher on and call for help.

Lainie Scott

Lainie Scott

This is my senior year at Gull Lake High school, and my second year apart of The Reflection staff.  This year I am the feature/entertainment editor, and I am looking forward to see where my writing can take me.

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