(WWJ) - The seasonal change from summer to autumn brings cooler temperatures and falling leaves, but police warn Michigan's almost 2 million deer are also active, creating dangerous road condition for drivers.
Don’t Veer for Deer — it's the slogan put out by the Michigan State Police for drivers as fall officially arrives Thursday evening.
While vehicle-deer crashes are a year-round issue for motorists across the state, deer are most active during the spring and fall months, the latter of which due to the hunting and breeding season.
"It may be hard to believe but the Metro Detroit area has the highest rate of car deer crashes in the state," MSP said on Twitter.
Throughout Michigan, there have already been over 52,000 deer-related crashes in 2022 with 10 ending in fatalities, state police added.
While drivers may look to avoid crashing into wildlife, police said the swerving can actually cause other issues.
According to MSP, people who try to "avoid the deer the [have a] chance of crashing into another vehicle or losing control increases."
The state has issued a number of tips for drivers to remember as the cooler weather approaches.
• Stay aware, awake, and sober
• Vehicle-deer crashes occur year-round, but be especially alert in spring and fall.
• Signs are placed at known deer crossing areas to alert you of the possible presence of deer.
• Deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file. If you see one deer cross the road, chances are there are more waiting.
• Be alert for deer, especially at dawn and dusk. If you see one, slow down.
• Don't rely on gimmicks, flashing your high-beam headlights or honking your horn to deter deer.
If drivers are heading into an incident where a crash unavoidable, offer the following advice:
• Don't swerve.
• Brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel, and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.
• Pull off the road, turn on your emergency flashers, and be cautious of other traffic if you exit your vehicle.
• Report the crash to the nearest police agency and your insurance company.
For more information visit Michigan.gov.