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Motorists warned to watch for more deer in June

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is cautioning motorists to watch out for deer in June.

Deer activity increases in June when the deer search for places to give birth and young deer separate from their mothers.

June is one of the worst months for driver and passenger injuries due to deer crashes. In four of the last five years, June ranked as the worst or second worst month for motorists' injuries from deer crashes, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Drivers may encounter more deer darting into the paths of their vehicles without warning.

“The best way to avoid crashes with deer is to slow down, put down your cell phone and eliminate all distractions while you drive. You also need to buckle up in case a crash can't be avoided,” says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Motorcyclists must be especially careful because collisions with deer can be fatal to motorcycle operators and passengers. Last year In Wisconsin, eight out of the 10 people killed in crashes with deer were motorcyclists.”

Law enforcement agencies reported 18,312 deer vs. motor vehicle crashes last year. Dane County had the most motor vehicle vs. deer crashes reported in 2014 with 863. Shawano County had the second most with 725 followed by Waukesha County with 700. In Green Lake and Shawano counties, more than half of all reported crashes in 2014 involved deer. Deer are the third most commonly struck object in Wisconsin traffic crashes (behind crashes with another vehicle or a fixed object).

WisDOT recommends to be vigilant in early morning and evening hours, the most active time for deer. If your vehicle strikes a deer, stay in your vehicle and do not touch the animal if it is still alive.

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