MSP reminds drivers to be aware of deer along roadways

MSP reminds drivers to be aware of deer along roadways.{ } (File - WWMT)

A West Michigan family is mourning the death of a teenager who was killed after a deer went through her windshield.

With colder weather, shorter days, and opening day of firearm season, police are reminding drivers to beware of deer on the move.

Michigan State Police said the most important thing drivers must do is hit their brakes and avoid veering, because veering to dodge a deer could be a deadly mistake.

Michigan State Police 1st Lt. Dale Hinz said, "Unfortunately, we have seen car deer fatalities where drivers have been killed where a deer will go through a windshield actually kill the driver. It's rare, thankfully, but once in a while we do see severe injuries from car-deer crashes."

It happened Monday morning in Kent County after deputies said an 18-year-old was killed in a deer-involved crash along 68th St. SE.

Not long before this deadly crash Michigan State police released a warning about deer-related crashes.

Hinz said, “There is definitely an uptick this time of the year and will be through December."

Police said deer are most active during dusk and dawn in the late fall and early winter months and Hinz encouraged drivers to pay attention for deer that may dart out from the tree line into your path.

He said, "It's always best to brake as much as possible but it's always better to hit the deer than veer off the roadway and strike a tree the way that vehicles."

Hinz said drivers both in rural and city areas must dial up their awareness because car - deer collisions can be deadly.

He said, "Veering is definitely not the best solution."

Police urge drivers to use their high beams if there are no oncoming vehicles and keep an eye out for other potential dangers.

Hinz said, "Deer usually travel together so if you see one assume there will be others that will be following."

He said October through December is the peak for the most deer-involved crashes in Michigan.

He also encourages drivers to drive at a slower rate to allow time to see what is ahead.