FREDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Calhoun County Sheriff’s investigators say swerving to avoid hitting a deer is an “unsafe driving strategy” – a lesson that a 21-year-old Bellevue man found out the hard way Thursday.
The Sheriff’s Department says deputies were dispatched to the 22000 block of 14-1/2 Mile Road around 8:03 a.m., in response to a report of a single-vehicle rollover crash with the 2007 Ford Focus on its top in a swampy field – and the driver trapped inside.
By the time deputies arrived at the scene, the driver had managed to get out of the vehicle. Police say he suffered no injuries, and declined medical treatment. They also say he admitted he swerved to avoid hitting a deer.
Michigan State Police offer these tips to avoid a car/deer crash:
- 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 a crash is unavoidable:
- 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.