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WisDOT: Deer crashes expected to rise in late spring

 Deer on  bridge
Posted at 1:35 PM, May 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-11 14:35:46-04

WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is reminding drivers to keep an eye out for deer on the roads to avoid potentially dangerous crashes.

WisDOT reports that deer crashes typically increase in May and June due to does looking for places to give birth and young deer being separated from their mothers.

“Deer become more active at the same time as people do. When you start heading out for spring and summer travel, expect to see deer trying to cross highways. They can be unpredictable so drivers should always carefully scan the sides of the road ahead, buckle up, and put the phone down,” Bureau of Transportation Safety Director David Pabst said.

How to avoid hitting a deer

  • Slow down, eliminate distractions, and make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt. Crash injuries are less severe or can be avoided when seat belts are worn
  • Scan the road ahead carefully. If one deer crosses, more could follow
  • Honk the horn to scare off any other animals
  • If a deer can not be avoided, firmly press the break, stay in your lane and avoid sudden swerving

Motorcyclists have a higher risk of injury in a crash involving a deer. Motorcyclists should slow down, brake firmly and swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer.

What to do after a deer crash

  • If possible, safely remove the vehicle from the road
  • Do not attempt to move an injured deer
  • Call 911
  • Stay buckled up inside your vehicle and wait for help

There were more than 16,000 reported crashes involving deer in Wisconsin in 2022. Numbers from WisDOT show five people were killed and more than 500 were hurt in deer crashes.

Most deer crashes happen in the early morning and evening hours. Headlights should be on during daylight transitions to easily spot a deer on the roadway.