This is the worst time of the year for car-deer crashes in Minnesota, so here are some proven ways that will help you avoid hitting one with your vehicle this fall.

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I'd previously posted the results of a yearly survey by State Farm Insurance that show Minnesota is ranked 7th out of all 50 states when it comes to the likelihood of hitting a deer. (In fact, that survey says we have about a 1 in 74 chance of hitting a deer!)

And, November is the peak time for Minnesota drivers to hit a deer. And, in addition to the potential for injury, hitting a deer can be expensive, too. (And, not very fun for the deer, either.) The survey says the average cost of hitting a deer with your car is now just over $4,100!

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has put together seven tips to use when behind the wheel here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that can hopefully help you avoid a car-deer crash.

  • Drive at safe speeds and always be buckled up.

  • Be especially cautious from 6 - 9 p.m., when deer are most active.

  • Use high beams as much as possible at night, especially in deer-active areas.

  • Motorists: don’t swerve to avoid a deer. Swerving can cause motorists to lose control and travel off the road or into oncoming traffic.

  • Don’t count on deer whistles or deer fences to deter deer from crossing roads.

  •  Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road. If anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.

  • Slow down in areas known to have a large deer population — such as areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forest land; and whenever in forested areas between dusk and dawn.