Oh deer! Drivers beware: June is the worst month for crashes with deer

MILWAUKEE -- With their size, swiftness and unpredictability, deer are huge hazards for motorists. In June, they likely will be even more prevalent on Wisconsin roads.

Deer activity increases this time of year as does search for places to give birth and young deer separate from their mothers.  With this increased activity, drivers may encounter more deer darting into the paths of their vehicles without warning.

Although motor vehicle collisions with deer peak in the fall months, June is one of the worst months for driver and passenger injuries due to deer crashes. In four of the last five years, June ranked as the worst or second worst month for motorists’ injuries from deer crashes, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

“The best way to avoid crashes with deer is to slow down, put down your cell phone and eliminate all distractions while you drive. You also need to buckle up in case a crash can’t be avoided,” says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Motorcyclists must be especially careful because collisions with deer can be fatal to motorcycle operators and passengers. Last year In Wisconsin, eight out of the 10 people killed in crashes with deer were motorcyclists.”

Law enforcement agencies reported 18,312 deer vs. motor vehicle crashes last year. Dane County had the most motor vehicle vs. deer crashes reported in 2014 with 863. Shawano County had the second most with 725 followed by Waukesha County with 700. In Green Lake and Shawano counties, more than half of all reported crashes in 2014 involved deer. Deer are the third most commonly struck object in Wisconsin traffic crashes (behind crashes with another vehicle or a fixed object).

WisDOT offers the following advice to avoid deer crashes: