As deer approach their most active time of the year, Michigan drivers must be wary

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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (10/09/2018) - Every year nearly 50,000 automobile accidents occur here in Michigan involving deer. Local law enforcement says many of those are unavoidable.

But there are some safety precautions you can take to avoid being one of those statistics.

"It's a frequent occurrence, I mean during the deer season it's almost every night,” said Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole. “I've had up to 10 accidents just myself on a normal night."

BeGole says slowing your speed down and driving within the distance that your headlights reach are good preventative measures. But they may not always work, and you have to react quickly but correctly.

"If a deer comes out in front of them, where there's one there's probably another one and so they should be ready to react,” said BeGole. “But if there is no time to react you know, we suggest that they just tighten their hands up on the steering and drive straight because if you swerve to miss a deer it's likely you may lose control, go off the road, hit a tree or cross line and hit somebody else and injure or kill somebody."

For insurance companies like Kingsbury-Browning Agency in Corunna, this time of the year is busy for them as well.

"I would say frequency; I mean it could be as many as two or three a day," said Steve Browning, agent and owner of the Farm Bureau Insurance agency in Corunna.

Browning says not every deer related incidents require them to get involved, but it is best to report it.

"It's always good to have a police report if you're going to file a claim, it's not always necessary but its good documentation," said Browning.

If you do hit a deer it's best to pull your car over, put on your hazards and call the police.

“I think a lot of car accidents go unrecorded and they should know that cars should not look like their damaged but they could be leaking fluid that could damage your car later so it's best to make sure someone qualified looks it over before you drive it," said BeGole.

About 80 percent of these crashes occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn.

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