You may have heard the stories, or even experienced the situation yourself.

We are talking about wildlife on the road. As a driver, hitting an animal or even trying to avoid it can result in serious injury.

More than 1,100 crashes are reported every year, according to the Department of Transportation. That is just in Washington state alone. Most accidents are between dusk and dawn.

In Washington state, one of the animals drivers encounter is a deer. As a driver, is it best to swerve or hit the deer?

KREM 2 took this question to the experts. It turns out hitting the deer is the best option.

"Typically, when you make any sudden change in operation to your vehicle, whether that be sudden braking, sudden acceleration or steering, you are more apt to lose control of your vehicle," said Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney. "That's certainly relevant this time of year when we have changing road and weather conditions."

Ashlee Barton was in a car accident after she hit a deer. The deer hit the front of her car on the driver's side.

"All of a sudden I hear this huge crash. It sounded like a bomb went off next to my car. I was able to take control of my wheel and pull over. When I pulled over and went to get out of my car, my car door was smashed in so I couldn't get out. I was panicked. I had never been in an accident before," said Barton.

Barton was going 65 miles per hour when she hit the deer. She said if she had swerved, the accident could have been much worse.

"Be attentive to scanning your surroundings, keeping your eyes up on the road. and hopefully you'll be able to see those animals before they end up right in front of you," said ____.