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DOT warns of increased deer related crashes

Safety officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation are cautioning motorists about the increased potential for deer to dart into roadways over the next several weeks. Deer activity typically increases in June as females search for places to give birth and young deer separate from their mothers.

While collisions between deer and motor vehicles peak in the fall months, June typically ranks high as a month when motorists are most likely to be injured in vehicle/deer crashes. In each of the last five years, June ranked as the worst or second worst month for motorists’ injuries from deer crashes.

“This time of year, we tend to see increases in traffic volumes, vehicle speeds, and deer activity - and that’s a dangerous combination for all motorists, but especially for motorcyclists,” said David Pabst, Director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety. “The best way to avoid deer crashes and injuries is to slow down, buckle up, and if you’re motorcycling - always wear a helmet and other protective gear.” Last year, 11 people were killed in deer-related crashes in Wisconsin - all were motorcyclists.

Last year, Wisconsin law enforcement agencies reported 20,413 deer/motor vehicle crashes. Dane County had the most with 1,006, followed by Waukesha County with 871 and Washington County with 766. In Green Lake, Kewaunee, Shawano, Vernon, and Waupaca counties, more than half of all reported crashes in 2016 involved deer.

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