Wisconsin Department of Transportation warns of collisions with deer in late spring

Numbers usually shoot up in late May and early June
Each year Michigan sees around 50,000 reported car crashes involving deer.
Each year Michigan sees around 50,000 reported car crashes involving deer.
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 3:04 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Officials are alerting motorists to keep an eye out for wildlife, especially deer, on the roads in the coming weeks to avoid potentially dangerous crashes.

Deer crash numbers typically increase in May and June in Wisconsin when does look for places to give birth and young deer separate 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.

There were more than 16,000 crashes involving deer in Wisconsin in 2022. Preliminary numbers show five people were killed and more than 500 were hurt in those incidents. Staying alert is an important step to stay safe this time of year and in fall when crash numbers are even higher.

Most deer crashes happen in the early morning and evening hours. Be sure to use your headlights as daylight transitions to dusk and deer become more difficult to see.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has issued a fact sheet on how to avoid hitting deer on the road:

-Slow down, eliminate distractions, and make sure everyone is buckled up. Crash injuries are less severe or can be avoided when everyone wears a seat belt.

-Scan the road ahead carefully. If one deer crosses, watch for more. Honk your horn to frighten away any other animals.

-If you can’t avoid hitting a deer, brake firmly and stay in your lane. Avoid sudden swerving, which can result in a loss of control of the vehicle and a more serious crash.

-Motorcyclists are at a greater risk of injury in a crash involving a deer. Motorcyclists should slow down, brake firmly and swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer. Try to stay in your lane, if possible, to avoid hitting other objects or vehicles.

What if all of those measures failed and a deer was hit? WisDOT has issued guidelines for those unfortunate incidents as well:

-Get your vehicle off the road if possible in order to avoid problems with other vehicles.

· If someone is hurt, or the deer is in the active portion of the road, call 911. Never attempt to move an injured deer.

· If your vehicle and deer are off the road, also contact 911.

· Stay buckled up inside your vehicle and wait for help. Getting out of your vehicle and walking