DOT calls for drivers to slow down, be alert as deer activity increases

DOT calls for drivers to slow down, be alert as deer activity increases

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and its Division of State Patrol are calling for drivers to slow down and be alert while driving over the next several weeks.

According to the DOT, deer-vehicle crashes peak during late October and early November as bucks pursue potential mates.

“Motorists can protect themselves and minimize the chances of hitting a deer by buckling up, slowing down and scanning the road ahead carefully,” director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety David Pabst said. “Deer can be seen any time of day, but are especially active around dusk and dawn.”

WisDOT said that law enforcement agencies reported 20,177 deer-vehicle crashes with 515 injuries and four fatalities (all four were motorcyclists) last year. According to WisDOT, Dane County had more deer-vehicle crashes than any other county in Wisconsin, followed by Waukesha and Washington counties.

Officials recommend that drivers slow down, eliminate distractions and make sure all vehicle occupants wear seat belts. They also recommend keeping an eye out for multiple deer if you see one cross a road.

If a collision with a deer is unavoidable, officials said you should break firmly and stay in your lane because swerving to avoid the deer could result in loss of control and ultimately a more serious crash.

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.