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‘Be alert:’ High deer activity in Oct., Nov.

Deer

WISCONSIN -- The months of October and November are typically known for an increase in deer vs vehicle crashes.

This time of year is knows as a "rutting" period for deer which means they are extremely active.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), State Patrol and partner law enforcement agencies are reminding motorists to be alert for the potential of deer darting across roadways during upcoming weeks.

“The best strategy to protect yourself and minimize the chance of hitting a deer is to buckle up, slow down and watch the road ahead carefully,” said David Pabst, Director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Deer can be seen any time of day, but they’re especially active around dusk and dawn.”

Last year in Wisconsin, there were 18,414 reported deer vs vehicle crashes that resulted in injuries to 556 motorists and nine fatalities (six were motorcyclists).

A county-by-county breakdown indicates Dane County had the most reported deer vs vehicle crashes in Wisconsin last year with 859, followed by Waukesha County with 823 and Washington County with 758.

WisDOT offers the following tips to avoid deer/motorist crashes:

  • Slow down, eliminate distractions, and make sure all vehicle occupants are buckled up.
  • If you see one deer cross in front of you, watch for more. One long blast from your vehicle’s horn may frighten the deer away.
  • If a collision with a deer is unavoidable, brake firmly and stay in your lane. Avoid sudden swerving which can result in a loss of vehicle control and a more serious crash. If you hit a deer:
  • Get your vehicle safely off the road if possible and call law enforcement. Be prepared to describe your specific location.
  • It’s generally safest to stay buckled-up inside your vehicle. Walking along a highway is always dangerous as you could be struck by another vehicle.
  • Don’t attempt to move an injured deer.
  • The increase in deer activity this time of year also results in more car-killed-deer along Wisconsin roadways.
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Molly Wasche

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

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