Livingston County had a reported 719 deer-related car crashes in 2011 - a 151 drop from 2010, according to the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition (MDCC).
Of those 719 crashes, 81 of them happened in Brighton Township -- earning the 9th ranking in the top ten southeast Michigan communities for deer crashes last year. Hartland Township had the second highest deer crashes in Livingston County in 2011, dropping out of the top ten southeast Michigan list.
The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is a member of the MDCC, which works to decrease vehicle-deer crashes.
The MDCC notes that deer crashes occur most frequently during October, November and most occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn, or 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
There were a total of 53,592 deer crashes in Michigan last year, 1,464 resulted in injuries, eight of them resulted in death.
In Michigan, deer crashes cost at least $130 million per year; the average insurance claim is about $2,100 in damage, usually to the front end, often leaving the vehicle undriveable, according to the MDCC.
Livingston County, along with St. Clair County, experienced the highest percentage of vehicle-deer crashes to all traffic crashes in 2011 - about 17 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
Top five Livingston County communities for deer crashes in 2011Rank Community Deer Crashes 1 Brighton Township 81 2 Hartland Township 72 3 Genoa Township 67 4 Oceola Township 60 5 Hamburg Township 59
Tips to avoid dangerous encounters with deer while on the roads:
- Watch for deer especially at dawn and dusk.
- If you see one deer, approach cautiously, as there may be more out of sight.
- Deer often travel single file, so if you see one cross a road, chances are more are nearby waiting to cross, too. When startled by an approaching vehicle, they can panic and dart out from any direction without warning.
- Be alert all year long, especially on two-lane roads. Watch for deer warning signs. They are placed at known deer-crossing areas and serve as a first alert that deer may be near.
- Slow down when traveling through deer-population areas.
For more information, visit www.michigandeercrash.org.