Oh deer! Michigan ranks top 10 in deer collisions - WNEM TV 5

Oh deer! Michigan ranks top 10 in deer collisions

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

It’s deer mating season and that means Michigan drivers across the state are at a greater risk of hitting them on the roads.

A study by State Farm ranks Michigan ninth in the nation for deer crash danger with the odds around 1 in 85.

>>Chances of hitting a deer in the U.S. slideshow<<

“It jumped out and jumped right into my windshield,” said Judy Taylor, who was hit by a deer 10 years ago. “Scared the daylights out of me.”

According to a recent study by State Farm insurance, Michigan drivers have a good chance of having a similar experience. The insurance company said Michiganders have a one in 85 chance of having a run-in with a deer this year. Ranking the Great Lakes state ninth in the nation for hitting a buck or doe.

“I didn’t see it coming,” Taylor said. “It just lapped out from the park and hit right in the driver’s side windshield.”

What happens if you’re on the road and you hit a deer? Well, a local State Farm insurance agent has some advice for you.

“First thing you should do is move your car into a safe place,” said Katie Caldwell, an agent from State Farm. “Turn on your hazard lights and then immediately call the authorities.”

So what should you do to cut your chances of hitting a deer? State Farm has these tips:

  • Slow down during dusk and dawn.
  • If you see one deer, prepare for more deer to cross the road.
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
  • Always buckle up – every trip, every time.
  • Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
  • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving. This can result in a more severe crash.
  • Remain focused on the road. Scan for hazards, including animals.
  • Avoid distractions. Devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
  • Do not rely on products such as deer whistles. They are not proven effective.
  • If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep focused on the road ahead.

But if you’re in an accident, Caldwell said to call the police first, then…

“Your next step should be a phone call to call me or to your agent,” Caldwell said. “We help you through that whole process.”

Caldwell said her daughter hit a deer once too. She knows there are plenty of deer out there. Especially over the next three months, it’s their mating season. Knowing that Taylor said she’ll be driving as cautiously as she can.

“Oh yeah I’m always on the alert for deer,” Taylor said.

You can find State Farm’s complete deer claim study on their website.

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