Potential for deer crashes expected to be high this fall

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be on the alert for deer this fall. The potential is expected to be high this season for deer crashes.

Officials say October and November are the mating season for deer -- and they soon will increase their activity particularly at dusk and dawn while moving back and forth between their bedding and feeding areas. As they roam, deer may dart unexpectedly onto roads and into the path of vehicles.

Last year, Wisconsin law enforcement agencies reported a total of 18,338 deer vs. motor vehicle crashes, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Waukesha County had the most motor vehicle vs. deer crashes reported in 2013 with 809. Dane County had the second most with 786 followed by Shawano County with 748. In Shawano and Green Lake counties, more than half of all reported crashes in 2013 involved deer. Deer are the third most commonly struck objects in Wisconsin traffic crashes (behind other vehicles and fixed objects).

Motorcyclists must be especially careful because deer crashes can be fatal. Motorcycles were involved in seven of the eight fatal deer vs. motor vehicle crashes in Wisconsin last year.

WisDOT and the Wisconsin State Patrol safety officials offer the following advice to prevent deer crashes and injuries to motorists: