Metro Detroit county tops list of most deer crashes in Michigan

(Photo: Mabel Amber/Pixabay)

Most vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan happen in October, November, and December.

Last year, there were 52,218 vehicle-deer crashes, up 2.18% from 51,103 in 2020. These crashes injured 1,449 people and killed 10.

Oakland County had the most crashes – 1,853.

Counties with most deer crashes:

  1. Oakland (1,853)
  2. Kent (1,810)
  3. Jackson (1,544)
  4. Ottawa (1,391)
  5. Lapeer (1,355)
  6. Allegan (1,288)
  7. Genesee (1,254)
  8. Calhoun (1,247
  9.  Kalamazoo (1,137)
  10. Washtenaw (1,080)

AAA safety tips for motorists

  1. Stay awake, alert and sober.
  2. Always wear a seat belt.
  3. Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.
  4. 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.

AAA safety tips for motorcyclists

  1. Stay awake, alert and sober.
  2. Slow down and be alert for deer whenever you ride.
  3. Cover the brakes to reduce reaction time.
  4. Use high-beam headlights and additional riding lights when possible.
  5. Wear protective gear at all times.

What to do if a deer is in the road

With a population of about 2 million, you are bound to see a deer while driving. The animals are most active between dusk and dawn, though they can run into the road at any time. 

Never veer for deer. Swerving could lead to a more severe crash.

If a deer is in the road, keep your vehicle straight and brake firmly. 

What to do if you hit a deer

If you cannot avoid hitting a deer, pull off the road after the collision and contact police and your insurance company. Be sure to let police know if the animal is in the road where it could be blocking traffic.

When you can safely get out of your vehicle, be sure to take photos of the damage in case you need them when you file a claim.

When you do get out of the vehicle, do not approach the deer. If it is alive, it may be aggressive and could hurt you.