NEGAUNEE — It’s almost fall, and that means that in addition to more leaves on the ground, you’ll start to see more animals wandering across the road.

Over fifty–thousand car/deer accidents are reported every year in the state of Michigan and in the Upper Peninsula, that number can be much higher. While hitting a deer can’t always be avoided, there are some precautions you can take before you put it in drive.

“You have many different types of animals that do cross a roadway, and what we want to remind people to do is make sure they always have their seatbelt on, it’s an important thing to do,” said Trooper Stacey Rasanen.

Visibility is key as well, so make sure your windshield is clear. But, what to do with a deer in the headlights?

“You want to make sure you don’t swerve. Stay in your lane, brake, if you can, and don’t go into oncoming traffic, make sure you try to stay in your lane,” said Rasanen. “If you do hit a deer, if there’s an injury of course, right away you want to call nine–one–one, let us know and we’re going to come to the scene and take care of it.”

It goes beyond cars, though. The risk for injury is far higher on a motorcycle.

“There’s less protection, so you want to make sure you’re using your safety equipment, because we have seen accidents be more severe with motorcycles in the upper peninsula,” said Rasanen

And be careful driving at night…between dawn and dusk is when deer are most active.