Auto body shops filling up with deer-related crashes

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- While many of us are looking forward to deer hunting season, officials say deer mating season is the peak time for vehicle crashes in Wisconsin.

“The best advice we can give is that if you see a deer, hit the brakes and hit the deer,” says Mark Kantola, Regional Communication Manager, Wisconsin Department of Transportation. “By swerving what can happen is you can lose control of your vehicle very quickly.”

Last year alone, more than 20,000 deer-car crashes were reported in Wisconsin, a number experts believe is lower than the actual number of crashes.

In Brown County, there were 554 deer-related crashes, with another 665 in neighboring Outagamie County, and nearly 700 in Shawano County.

“We’ll be repairing probably three or four, maybe even five, six a week as they come through here now,” says Mark Williams, owner of Williams Auto Body Shop in Green Bay. “So I mean, it'll start really picking up.”

That means business will be booming for auto body shops in the area.

Experts tell Action 2 News they usually see damage to the front-end or headlights of vehicles, repairs that could easily cost thousands of dollars.

“There's a lot of them that you know, when headlights are costing $800 or $1,000 now, I mean it's nothing for a deer accident to be anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 pretty easy,” Williams says.

Workers have already seen a wave of damage but expect to fix even more vehicles as the season continues.

Transportation experts remind Action 2 News that if you do hit a deer, contact authorities right away and don’t try to move the deer off the road.

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