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How to avoid deer crashes this October

As September comes to a close, fall is here, and that means that deer will be more present on the roadways. This means Michigan residents will be more at risk of getting into a deer accident with their vehicles.

Hitting a deer with your car can be a catastrophic incident that leads to serious injury or death. Not only are deer in danger of getting hurt, but drivers and passengers in a car are also at risk. A deer can penetrate through a windshield, or the force of hitting the large animal can send a vehicle flying out of control off the roadway.

No one is immune to the risk of getting into a car crash with a deer, so it is important to take as many precautions as possible to avoid getting into a deer crash. First, make sure that you are always awake, sober and aware when you are operating a motor vehicle so if you see a deer you will have the reflexes needed to avoid it. Second, be especially alert during dusk and dawn hours in the spring and fall, when more deer are present on the roadways. Third, look out for deer crossing signs -- they are there for a reason and will alert you to areas that are more likely to have deer present.

Fourth, remember that where you see one deer, you will likely see another since they travel in herds and they often travel in a single line. Fifth, if you are about to hit a deer, do not try to swerve out of the way because that is when you are more likely to lose control of your vehicle. Stay inside your lane and hit the brake firmly wile holding your steering wheel straight. Once you have come to a controlled stop, if you hit the deer, pull over on the side of the road and activate your emergency flashers. Keep your vehicle as far off the side of the road as possible and call the police to report the deer in the road. You will want the incident recorded on a police report because it may be covered under your insurance.

Drivers who have difficulty making an insurance claim for deer crash damages may want to seek assistance from a personal injury attorney. An attorney may be able to file an action to secure the compensation an injured driver deserves.

Source: Insurance Institute of Michigan, "Avoid Deer Crashes," accessed Sep. 30, 2015

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