Police Warn Against Deer-Releated Crashes 9-23-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Police Warn Against Deer-Releated Crashes 9-23-2010

According to the Michigan State Police, October and November are the two most dangerous months in Michigan for deer/vehicle crashes.
Vehicle-deer crashes can cause more than just damage to the outside of the vehicle.
The 61,486 crashes last year resulted in 1,571 injuries and 10 deaths. In 2009, all 10 deer crash fatalities involved motorcyclists.
According to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, there were 476 more crashes last year than in 2008.
However, officials note that many crashes also go unreported, so actual crash numbers are much higher.
All motorists should "think deer" whenever they are behind the wheel, and drive defensively, as if a deer can appear at any moment.
And all motorists should remember to always fasten their safety belts as they can often make the difference in surviving a serious crash.
The Michigan Deer Crash Coalition said motorists can help avoid dangerous encounters with deer by heeding the following tips:
• Watch for deer especially at dawn and dusk. • If you see one deer, approach cautiously, as there may be more out of sight. • Deer often travel single file, so if you see one cross a road, chances are more are nearby waiting to cross, too. When startled by an approaching vehicle, they can panic and dart out from any direction without warning. • Be alert all year long, especially on two-lane roads. Watch for deer warning signs. • Slow down when traveling through deer-population areas.
Motorcyclists should: • Be alert for deer whenever they ride. • Slow down. Decreasing speed gives a motorcyclist more time to spot an animal and react. • Cover the brakes to reduce reaction time. • Use high beam headlights and additional driving light when possible. • If riding in a group, spread out riders in a staggered formation. If one rider hits a deer, this will lessen the chance that other riders will be involved. • Wear protective gear at all times.
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