A string of crashes Tuesday morning serves as a reminder that it's prime time for deer-versus-vehicle collisions in Minnesota.
State Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Jesse Grabow said in a tweet that troopers in his region "responded to 3 separate vehicle vs deer crashes before 7am this morning":
"The deer are extremely active and moving right now so please pay attention," Grabow wrote, reminding drivers not to "veer for deer."
This echoes the state's official advice on the matter, with the DNR noting that swerving to avoid a deer "can cause motorists to lose control and travel off the road or into oncoming traffic."
Instead, you should hit the brakes.
As Consumer Reports notes, "your odds for surviving an accident are better when hitting an animal than hitting another car."
The DNR says deer-vehicle crashes peak in the autumn months, but "Minnesota’s large deer population makes them a safety hazard on the road all year long."
According to data from the agency, the state sees thousands of such collisions every year, with over 1,200 happening in 2018.
Especially vulnerable to the darting animals are motorcyclists, a group that "accounted for 16 of the 18 vehicle-deer related deaths over a three-year period" from 2014 to 2018, the state says.
Over the past decade, State Farm Insurance has consistently ranked Minnesota in the top 10 of states where you're most likely to hit a deer.
The most recent ranking said drivers in Minnesota had a 1-in-64 chance of hitting a deer over the 2018-2019 season.