It’s the time of year when deer pose their greatest threat to drivers and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is offering advice for making sure you get to your destination safely.

SEMCOG is reporting that that last year there were just shy of 6,000 deer-vehicle crashes in their 7-county region, which includes Livingston County. This is up 6.7% from 2017. Nine hundred of those occurred in Livingston. With hunting season in full swing and the nights becoming longer, roughly 47% of all deer-vehicle crashes occur in October, November, and December.

As such, SEMCOG is offering tips and reminders to keep people safe behind the wheel. Slow down and heed deer crossing signs, especially on 2-lane roads, as those signs are often there because of past incidents. Deer frequently travel in groups, so if you see one by the side of the road, chances are there are others nearby, possibly out of sight.

SEMCOG’s Manager of Economic and Community Vitality Kevin Vettraino shares what you should do should a deer run out in front of you. He says if that a deer does run in front of your vehicle, don’t veer away. If a crash is unavoidable, brake firmly while gripping the wheel then safely off to the side of the road. Vettraino said that while hitting a deer may cause damage to your car, it is better than veering into another vehicle or a tree. SEMCOG also reminds to stay alert and aware, particularly at dawn and dusk, and of course, to always buckle up.

They have an interactive Crash Locations map that allows users to customize vehicle-deer crash information, and that link is below. (MK)