SANILAC COUNTY, MI – An estimated 1.5 million Michiganders will travel during the 102-hour Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend and Sheriff Garry Biniecki would like all of them to arrive at their destinations safely.
The combination of long distance travel and a relatively short time period can turn deadly. Thirteen people were killed and 631 were injured in car crashes during the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday. In order to avoid becoming a statistic, Sheriff Biniecki advises you to get plenty of rest before driving, avoid alcohol and wear your seatbelts.
Crashes spike on Wednesday and Sunday evening – the two heaviest travel times. Postponing your departure until Thursday morning decreases the likelihood of being involved in a crash with a deer or drowsy or drunk driver by almost 50%.
The holiday coincides with the firearm deer season, which means hunters will add to the numbers on the road during the high travel holiday. A large deer herd, combined with large numbers of cars on the road, creates a high probability for collisions. In 2013 more than 49,000 deer-vehicle crashes were reported. These crashes caused 1,087 injuries and 12 deaths. November was by far the worst month for car-deer crashes, 33% of these crashes occur between October 15 and Thanksgiving each year.
“Most often, you’ll see a deer near dawn or dusk,” said Sheriff Biniecki. Motorists are encouraged to look beyond the beam of their headlights for eyes of deer that may be near the path of your vehicle. The best way to avoid a deer/car collision is to slow your car down! Deer travel together, if you see one chances are others are coming so please proceed with caution.
Remember to heed deer crossing signs. If you do hit a deer make sure you report it to your local police or Sheriff’s office.
For more safety tips Sheriff Biniecki encourages residents to visit the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association website at www.misheriff.org . Founded in 1877 the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association is the oldest law enforcement organization in Michigan.