Wis. DOT warns potential for deer-car crashes high

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Motorists are advised to be on the lookout for deer 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).

“Of course, the best way to prevent injuries is to avoid crashes by paying attention and slowing down. You also must be buckled up in case a crash can’t be avoided,” says Wisconsin State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. ”Motorcyclists must be especially careful because collisions with deer can be fatal to motorcycle drivers and passengers. Motorcycles were involved in 11 of the 12 fatal deer versus motor vehicle crashes in 2012.”

Law enforcement agencies reported 18,864 deer vs. motor vehicle crashes last year. Dane County had the most motor vehicle vs. deer crashes reported in 2012 with 851. Shawano County had the second most with 800 followed by Waukesha County with 710. In Green Lake, Shawano and Taylor counties, more than half of all reported crashes in 2012 involved deer. Deer are the third most commonly struck object in Wisconsin traffic crashes (behind collisions with another vehicle or a fixed object).

WisDOT offers the following advice to avoid deer crashes: