One thing that thousands of people in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin have in common is this - we have hit a deer while driving somewhere in the midwest.  In fact, about 1.5 million deer-car accidents happen every year so if you haven't already had one of those happen to you, there is a good chance that it will at some point.  To help avoid that horrific crash, check out the tips below.

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Tips To Avoid Hitting a Deer With Your Car in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin

I grew up in Iowa where deer are everywhere.  And then...I moved to Minnesota.  There are so many deer in this state and now I live on an acreage just outside of Rochester and they basically live in my background.  The babies are adorable. The big, gigantic buck that is hanging out right now trying to stay safe in my woods is definitely one animal I do NOT want to hit with my car.  He is a BEAST!

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If you'd love to avoid hitting deer, check out the tips below that moneygeek.com put together to help all of us stay a little bit safer:

  • TIP #1 - Know When the Peak Deer Hours Are
    • Deer are spotted at all times of the day but most of the deer-car accidents happen at dusk.  The second most popular time is at dawn.
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  • TIP # 2 - Watch for signs and warnings
    • New deer signs aren't being posted anymore in Minnesota but there are quite a few that are still up in spots where deer tend to be an issue.  As you are driving, there are a few spots to look out for where deer love to show up at including by forests and agricultural areas where roads are located.
  • TIP #3 - Stay in the center lane while driving
    • I've been using this tip for years and I truly believe it.  If you are driving on a road that has multiple lanes available, try to stick to the center lane as much as possible.  When a deer pops up near the edge of the road, being in the center or middle lane will allow you more time to react and hopefully avoid the deer.
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  • TIP #4 - Use your headlights
    • This is basically a no-brainer but turn your headlights on.  The eyes of deer reflect in your headlights so watch for those little beady spots shining on the side of the road.
  • TIP #5 - Remember those high beams, use those if you can!
    • If you've got a newer car, your brights turn on and off by themselves (which is really awesome!).  Regardless of if you have to turn your brights on or flick them on and off on your own, use your brights to help spot animals easier.
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  • TIP #6 - If you see one deer, there is a good chance there are more
    • Deer love to hang out in crowds so if you see one, there is a really good chance that there is another one nearby.
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  • TIP #7 - Wear your seatbelt
    • Pretty sure it is the law but just in case you aren't wearing it, fasten that seatbelt.  You can't predict when a deer is going to come at you and trust me, there is no way you will have enough time to put that on.
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  • TIP #8 - Press your brakes and honk your horn
    • When you see a deer in your lane or approaching your path, tap your brakes so the drivers behind you know something is up ahead.  If you realize that no one is behind you, brake hard and honk your horn to hopefully try to scare the deer away from you.
  • TIP #9 - Don't swerve
    • You are going to want to swerve to avoid a deer in the road but that could end up being even more dangerous, especially if another car is coming towards you.
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Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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