Autumn in Wisconsin sees a increase in deer activity and as a result, an increase in vehicle-deer crashes.
Last year, Wisconsin law enforcement agencies reported nearly 19,000 deer vs. motor vehicle crashes. The DOT is suggesting the potential for a high total again this year.
They are offering a series of tips to help avoid an accident, or minimize the damage.
- Eliminate distractions while driving, always wear a safety belt.
- If you see a deer, be alert for more. Deer seldom run alone.
- Don’t expect a deer to move because of your headlights, they confuse the deer, causing it to freeze.
- Brake firmly and blow your horn to startle a deer in the roadway.
Officials say that vehicle drivers are better off applying the brakes and striking the deer rather than swerving. Swerving can cause you to lose control and hit another car or stationary object like a tree.The lone exception to this rule is motorcyclists who should slow and try to avoid the animal. Last year 13 of the 14 fatalities of deer crashes involved motorcycles.
The most important thing is to drive with caution and remain vigilant, especially at dawn and dusk when visibility is reduced and deer are most active.