From Chief Noppe…

Car V.S. Deer Season

It is that time of year again in Spring Arbor Township !

According to statistics gathered by the State of Michigan, Jackson county ranked 3 rd in overall
car/deer accidents in the State of Michigan in 2018. Most of our car v.s. deer accidents occur in
October & November followed by the next 2 highest months of December & January between
the hours of 6a.m. – 8a.m. and 6p.m. – 10p.m.

In 2018 Spring Arbor Township had 284 accidents total, 143 involved a deer. Our township
percentage was 50.4% of our total accidents being deer related. Our surrounding townships in
regards to deer accidents in correlation to their total was; Parma 68 (47.2%), Sandstone 114
(48.7%), Concord 56 (61.5%), Summit 133 (29%).

I wish I could say there was a particular area where deer accidents occur in the township, I
cannot. We need to be vigilant regardless of the area we are driving in, including residential
neighborhoods as deer continue to creep into the neighborhoods. Even at 25 mph, a collision
with a deer can cause substantial injury and/or damage.

If you need a report for a car/deer accident we prefer to investigate the accident at the scene
where it occurred. However, we will come to your home if there is going to be a delay in a
Spring Arbor car responding, as long as you stay in Spring Arbor Township.

Suggestions:
1. Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk, they are extremely active during fall mating
season and in the spring when they feed on the county right of way grass.

2. The old philosophy, if you see one deer you will see another still holds true, if you see
one begin slowing down. I can’t count the number of times the motorist saw one but
not the other two that ran into the side of their “new” car.

3. Deer usually cross in single file and if you see one there are most likely others waiting
nearby to cross also, as we know they are unpredictable and cars do startle them
causing them to dart out into traffic.

4. Deer crossing signs are in the township to alert motorist that there is a significant
number of deer in that area, be cautious and control your speed in the agricultural areas
of the township where they tend to congregate.

5. Always wear your seat belt, it will obviously lessen the impact with a deer, but also
lessen the impact of the air bag hitting you in the face should a collision occur.

6. If a crash with a deer is imminent, don’t swerve, brake firmly, hold on to the steering
wheel with both hands and come to a controlled stop after the collision. If you swerve
and go into the on-coming traffic lane or go off the road etc. you will be responsible
criminally and civilly for any injuries and property damage that occurs from that
action.