Deer in the Headlights? Prevent Accidents in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is known for its natural setting, beautiful wildlife, and nature trails and forests throughout the state. However, with the free wildlife also comes a dangerous road hazard. Wisconsin state and federal records report an average of 1.5 million traffic accidents involving deer collisions each year in the United States. In Wisconsin, this is prevalent especially during deer hunting and mating season, and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports that 40% of deer crashes occur in mid-October through November. May and June are also prime months as groups wander and chase their young at this time.

Some tips and strategies to avoid deer-related accidents include:

  • Use extra caution at dawn and dusk, as these are times when deer travel most frequently
  • If you see one deer, it’s likely there are others close by so do slow down
  • Flash headlights to scare deer away, but slow down in case they continue to run out in front of you!
  • Don’t swerve across the center line or brake hard; it is actually better to hit the deer than cause an additional traffic-related accident as a result of aviding the deer.
  • Always scan the sides of country and rural roads
  • Most deer accidents occur between 5-10 p.m.
  • Watch for deer signs, as they are clear warnings of deer groups in the area
  • Always keep your car in good repair so that headlights, tires, and brakes are in good condition
  • Investing in a deer whistle doesn’t necessarily result in deer staying away from a moving vehicle, as only some deer will pick up the sound
  • You do have an option of investing in technology ($2,500+) that may equip your car with heat sensors and night vision

Always be a defensive driver, and avoid driving on rural and country roads during peak seasons and dawn/dusk timeframes. If you do see deer, remember to slow down and exercise caution when entering unfamiliar areas.

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