KENT COUNTY, Mich. - The Kent County Sheriff's Department says there has been an uptick in car versus deer accidents so far this year. The peak time for accidents involving deer typically falls from October through December.

The sheriff's department is responding to about 12 to 15 deer-car crashes a day. According to Michigan State Police, there are nearly 50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan annually. About 80 percent of those crashes occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn.

MSP provides the following tips to avoid hitting deer:

  • 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.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.