Deer-Vehicle Crashes

November is the peak month in Minnesota for vehicle crashes with deer. MN-DOT’s Kevin Gutknecht says drivers must be extra alert, noting that daylight’s getting shorter and, because of that, it’s harder to see on the road.

Deer tend to move either at dawn or dusk, which is also when rush hour is taking place at this time of year. Gutknecht says drivers should slow down, carefully scan roadsides and ditches and if you see a deer, expect more right behind it.

He says if a collision is imminent,”it’s better to hit the deer than to swerve, because if you swerve, you might swerve into the path of another vehicle”, or go into the ditch or hit a tree. Insurance companies estimate one in 74 motorists will hit a deer or other large animal this year.

Between 2013 and 2015 there were over 61-hundred deer-vehicle crashes in Minnesota, resulting in over 900 injuries and 15 deaths. Late season motorcyclists are at particularly high risk and officials say they should avoid riding at times of low light.

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