Despite recent deaths, fewer deer crashes in MI

A woman was killed when a deer hit by another vehicle crashed into her windshield along Cascade Road in Cascade Township on the evening of Nov. 20, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Within a week and the span of a few miles in Kent County, two people were killed in car crashes involving deer.

But according to data collected by Michigan State Police, vehicle collisions with deer are down in the state. In the early 2000s, there were more than 2,000 collisions per year statewide. In the past three to four years, the number has fallen to around 1,500.

According to the Office of Highway Safety Planning, Kent County ranked second in the state for the number of car-deer crashes last year. That makes sense considering Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in the state but the county also has plenty of wooded areas for deer to live and breed.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says there is a slight increase in the deer population over last year, but the population in still down from between five and 10 years ago.

“We shouldn’t have more collisions than we normally do,” John Niewoonder with DNR said.

Deer mate from October to December, so they are on the move. That means drivers need to look out. Experts say you should watch the both sides of the road. If you see a deer, hit your breaks and stay in your lane. Whatever you do, don’t swerve: Experts say it’s safer to hit the deer.

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Online:

Michigan State Police: Spotting and reacting to deer