ZEELAND, Mich — West Michigan has had two serious deer-related crashes in just the past couple of days. Have you seen more on the road, too?
13 ON YOUR SIDE dug more into why that is.
On Sunday, two motorcyclists were seriously injured last night after they an accident involving a deer on M-44 in Ionia County.
Closer to home, on Tuesday morning, a 55-year-old man from Zeeland was killed after crashing into a deer on 64th Avenue just off of Chicago Drive.
Deputies say the deer went through the windshield and out the rear window of the car, and killed the man in the process.
After striking the deer, the car left the roadway and came to rest in a ditch.
The sheriff's office says alcohol, drugs and speed do not appear to be factors.
13 ON YOUR SIDE spoke to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to learn more about the increase in deer on the roadways.
Wildlife Outreach Coordinator, Rachel Leightner, said we are in the midst of white tail deer breeding season, meaning that more deer are out trying to mate and are moving around to different locations all the time.
"Often times when this is happening, the deer are literally chasing each other so male deer will be chasing female deer in hopes of reproducing over the next few weeks and that leads to an increase in deer/vehicle collisions because they lose sight of their surroundings running in the middle of the roadways, running into our cars," Leightner said.
Leightner also said that while we are in the midst of hunting seasons there are more people in the woods which spooks the deer and is another reason they move around more frequently.
The DNR said that deer are most active at dusk and dawn, right during those hours when people are commuting. They say if you CAN safely use your bright lights, deer do have reflective eyes so that can help you spot them, but more than anything else, they said driving slowly is the best way to prevent serious accidents when encountering deer.
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