Wisconsin DOT warn of high potential for deer crashes

Wisconsin DOT is advising the potential of hitting a deer with a car could be high this Fall.

October and November are the mating season for deer, and they soon will increase their activity particularly at dusk and dawn while moving back and forth between their bedding and feeding areas.

As they roam, deer may dart unexpectedly onto roads and into the path of vehicles.

Last year, Wisconsin law enforcement agencies reported a total of 18,312 deer vs. motor vehicle crashes.

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.

"To avoid hitting deer with your vehicle, you should slow down whenever you see them nearby. If you see one deer, there are probably more in the area," said David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "If you can’t avoid a deer in the road, it’s safer to hit the brakes and hit the deer than to swerve suddenly and try to miss it. If you swerve, you risk losing control of your vehicle. You may end up hitting another car or a stationary object like a tree."

Motorcyclists must be especially careful because deer crashes can be fatal. Motorcycles were involved in eight of the 10 fatal deer vs. motor vehicle crashes in Wisconsin last year.

"The one exception to the ‘don’t swerve’ recommendation applies to motorcyclists," Pabst said. "Motorcyclists should slow down, brake firmly and then swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer. If they must swerve, motorcyclists should try to stay within their driving lane to avoid hitting other vehicles or objects."

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