Animal Crossing

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Icy roads winding through the Montana wilderness could lead to a wreck this winter.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, you are more likely to hit an animal on the road in November than any other month. Savannah Valazic-Green can believe it.

"I've hit more than one deer, I've hit like three deer in my life and it's been scary each time," said Valazic-Green.

The first time it happened, she was on her way to homecoming last year from Somers around 9:00 p.m. on a dark winter night.

"My thoughts were oh crap, oh crap," exclaimed Valazic-Green.

Each time it has happened, the deer has walked away, but her car has gotten a little worse for the wear.

"I hit my brakes and actually hit the deer. He was fine. I just continued to slide," said Valazic-Green.

Montana Highway Patrol trooper, Jerril Ren, says she did the right thing.

"I've seen people that crashed because they swerve and overreacted and had they of just hit the animal they would have just sustained damage to their car," said Ren.

Keeping your eyes on the road and giving yourself a wide berth to brake are a given, but even the most attentive driver might not be able to react quickly enough if an animal wonders across the road out of a dense fog, with the possibility of ice on the road.

"If you feel you're gonna hit them, try to hit them with the bulky part of the car," explained Ren.

Data from the Insurance Institute attributes fifty-seven vehicular deaths to animal collisions between 1993 and 2007.

Although the nationwide peak for roadway animal hits comes in November, Ren says the treasure state sees a spike in milder weather, especially during the summertime.

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