Michigan’s firearm deer season begins on Tuesday, Nov. 15, and the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) is using this event to push its “Don’t Veer for Deer” safety message.
According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, Oakland County had the highest number of vehicle-deer crashes in 2015 of any county in the state -- 1,873 incidents were reported throughout the county.
Overall in Michigan, motorists reported over 47,000 vehicle-deer crashes in 2015. That number includes 1,132 people injured and 11 people killed (including five motorcycle riders) according to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. Here are few safety tips:
• Stay awake and alert
• Wear a safety belt
• Most deer are active in the early morning and at dusk/in the evening; pay close attention when driving by wooded and farmland areas
• If you see a deer SLOW DOWN; there are likely more nearby
• Never swerve; instead brake slowly, stay in your lane and bring the vehicle under control if the crash is unavoidable
• The safest action is actually hitting the deer
“Most fatalities and serious injury accidents happen as a result of swerving into oncoming traffic or veering off the road and losing control of the vehicle in order to avoid hitting a deer,” said RCOC Vice Chairman Eric Wilson. “For your own safety and that of other motorists and passengers, be extra cautious and do not veer for deer,” he added.
RCOC staff members and hunters put together a short video to remind motorists about using extra caution along roadways throughout Oakland County. Deer are especially active in the fall.
The videos were produced by Rachel Sweet, Lawrence Tech University student studying Media Communications.