DNR reminds drivers to be alert for deer this spring

(Photo: Courtesy John Arman)
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 3:17 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Deer crashes tend to rise in May and June, so drivers should stay aware of deer on the roads. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation provided tips for drivers on how to avoid hitting deer.

In 2022, the DNR said there were over 16,000 deer crashes in Wisconsin. Five-hundred people were injured in these crashes, and five died, according to preliminary information.

“Deer become more active at the same time as people do,” Bureau of Transportation Safety Director David Pabst said. “When you start heading out for spring and summer travel, expect to see deer trying to cross highways.”

Here are ways to avoid hitting a deer:

  • Use headlights during dusk and dawn as most crashes happen in early morning and evening.
  • Slow down and stay buckled.
  • Avoid swerving and brake hard if you think hitting the deer is unavoidable.
  • Keep a careful eye on the road.

The Wisconsin DOT also encourages drivers to eliminate distractions while driving.

“They [deer] can be unpredictable so drivers should always carefully scan the sides of the road ahead, buckle up, and put the phone down,” Pabst said.

If you do hit a deer, call 911 and wait for help in your vehicle. Getting out on the highway is dangerous, and so is trying to remove an injured deer from the road.

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