ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's a hazard we all have to deal with in West Michigan -- deer running out in front of our cars causing accidents.
Last year, drivers in Michigan reported more than 53,000 crashes involving deer -- and October and November are the months when those crashes rise dramatically.
Here are a few more facts about these accidents according to the state Office of Highway Safety.
Vehicle-deer crashes happened most often in the heavily populated southern counties. Kent County had the highest number last year at 1,750. Montcalm County reported more than 1,300 accidents, while Ottawa County had more than 1,100.
Police who deal with car-deer crashes every year say they've seen some interesting ones.
"I've seen found deer embedded in people's grills, thrown up in to their truck beds," says Sgt. Aaron Sweeney with the Michigan State Police Rockford post. "Deer do all kinds of funny things after they're hit."
About 59% of car-deer crashes happen at night, in areas where there are no lights. About 22% of them happen during the daytime.
On average, 146 car-deer crashes happen every day in Michigan. Many more are not reported by drivers.
Sgt. Sweeney says if you see a deer and can't avoid hitting it, just brake. If you hit the deer, try to keep control of your car.
Sweeney says the best prevention is to keep your eyes open.
"If you see a deer on the side of the road, slow down, anticipate that it's going to run out in front of you, keep an eye on it," says the trooper. "If you see one cross, there's generally another one that's going to be crossing behind it."
Sweeney also says if you see a car coming toward you at night and the headlights seem blink, it could be a deer running in front of the truck.