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Sunday, December 8, 2019

COMMITTEE TO ELECT DION ADAMS: Watch out Midland! November the leading time for traffic crashes in Midland County

Politics

By Press release submission | Nov 17, 2019

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Committee to elect dion adams issued the following announcement on Nov 16.

Between the early encroach of winter weather conditions and the increased amount of deer and other wildlife finding themselves in the roadways, the months of October and November represent one of the most dangerous times to be a driver in Midland County.

According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, a website that contains crash data statistics compiled by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning dating back to 1952, the month of November contained the highest amount of traffic crashes in Midland County in 2018.

In total, 377 crashes took place in November last year. The month also contained the highest amount of crashes resulting in injuries, with 45. Out of the eight crashes that led to fatalities in 2018, none took place in November.

Cpt. Tracy Thomas of the Midland County Sheriff's Office said the increase in crashes at this time of year is largely due to the number of car-deer crashes that take place.

"Car-deer crashes increase dramatically starting in October due to bow hunters entering the woods, which causes the deer to move," Thomas said. "During this time of year, deer also start to rut, which really gets them moving. It continues into November with the start of rifle season."

Thomas said the threat of deer in the roadway will start to decrease roughly a week or two after rifle season begins. Michigan’s firearm deer season officially began on Friday.

“As hunters head into fields and forests, deer will become more active – especially at dawn and dusk – and it’s important for drivers to keep their eyes peeled for deer, which can dart out in front of cars,” said Tricia Kinley, Insurance Alliance of Michigan executive director. “In 2018, 1,200 people were injured in car crashes involving deer, making it more important than ever to remain vigilant.”

The IAM offers the following facts and safety tips for drivers during deer season:

 Deer often travel in single file, so if one crosses a road, more are likely nearby waiting to cross.

When startled by an approaching vehicle, deer can panic and dart out from any direction.

 Slow down when traveling through deer-populated areas.

Always wear a seat belt. If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, don’t swerve. Instead, brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel with both hands, come to a controlled stop and steer the vehicle off the roadway.

In 2018, 53,464 vehicle crashes involving deer were reported across Michigan — including 949 in Midland County — resulting in 1,200 injuries and 14 deaths.

Out of the past five years, November has had the highest amount of crashes in 2014, 2016 and 2018 in Midland County. October and December took the top spot in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

City versus county

Taking a closer look at the City of Midland, however, things are a little different due to a lack of deer activity when compared to the rest of Midland County.

While November tends to have the most car crashes in the county, January and December are each as likely to have accidents within the city limits. In the last five years, each of these months had about 10% of the total crashes that occurred, with January having the most.

In the last five years, there were more than 6,390 total accidents in the city, 541 of which were car-deer crashes. In addition, there were nine fatal crashes and a majority of the total accidents were either rear-ends or single-vehicle crashes.

Looking at where these accidents occur within the city, most happen at certain identifiable intersections. In the last five years, the following intersections were always in the list of top 10 intersections, in terms of number of crashes that occurred there:

 North Saginaw Road and Eastman Avenue

East Wackerly Street and Eastman

Jerome Street and Buttles Street

Ashman Street and Indian Street

Eastman and Joe Mann Boulevard

Other notable intersections that have appeared in the top 10 intersections list more than once include North Saginaw and Orchard Drive; North Jefferson Avenue and Wackerly; and East Patrick Road and Saginaw.

Sgt. Chris Wenzell of the Midland Police Department said most of these intersections tend to be the most heavily trafficked areas within the city, therefore increasing the likelihood of more accidents.

In addition, Wenzell said a significant number of accidents are what officers call “courtesy crashes.” These accidents happen when a car is trying to turn left and one lane of oncoming traffic stops to let them turn, while the other lane proceeds.

Wenzell and Lt. Mike Sokol offered advice on how to best avoid accidents: drive defensively, stay alert and put away all distractions.

Original source here.

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