An annual reminder from AAA

Don’t veer for deer – use extra caution as firearm deer hunting season approaches

STATEWIDE — With nearly 550,000 hunters heading out for firearm deer season, it is important to remember that more than 43 percent of vehicle-deer crashes occur in Michigan during the months of October, November and December.

In 2018, 42 percent of all vehicle-deer crashes occurred in the fall.

As reported in the police and fire report at right, a Tyrone Township man was injured when his motorcycle struck a 10-point buck on S. Holly Road, just east of the Fenton/Holly border on Nov. 4.

Last year, 12 people were killed in deer crashes. About 75 percent of the fatalities, eight, were on motorcycles. Another 1,429 people were injured in vehicle-deer crashes.

In Michigan, vehicle-deer crashes are expensive, causing at least $130 million in damage annually. The state has a 1.7 million-strong deer herd. Deer frequently travel in groups. If you see one deer cross the road, chances are there are more nearby.

In 2019, there were 54,254 vehicle deer crashes, up 1.5 percent from 53,464 during 2018. Oakland County had the most crashes with 1,928. The remaining top nine were Kent (1,684), Jackson (1,630), Lapeer (1,394), Ottawa (1,288), Sanilac (1,226), Genesee (1,212), Allegan (1,210), Calhoun (1,195), and Clinton (1,174).

AAA offers these five fall safety tips:

Motorists

• Stay awake, alert and sober.

• Always wear a seat belt.

• Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.

• If you see one deer, slow down. Chances are there are others nearby.

• If a crash is unavoidable, don’t swerve, brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel, stay in your lane and bring your car to a controlled stop.

Motorcyclists

• Stay awake, alert and sober.

• Slow down and be alert for deer whenever you ride.

• Cover the brakes to reduce reaction time.

• Use high beam headlights and additional riding lights when possible.

• Wear protective gear at all times. – Courtesy of the Tri-County Times