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DOT Officials Remind Public To Look Out For Deer

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MADISON, WI (WSAU) -- Transportation safety officials are reminding Wisconsin drivers to be on the lookout for deer in the coming months.

"Deer are in rut," said David Pabst with the DOT. "Males are looking for a potential mate, so there is a lot of extra activity, especially at dusk or during the early morning because they are really active then."

The problem is a state-wide issue. Pabst says of the 20,000 or so car versus deer crashes that resulted in injuries in 2018, no one area of the state saw more activity than another. "They like edges and they like fields so they do well in rural areas. Of course, most of Wisconsin is pretty rural."

Pabst adds that Dane and Waukesha Counties saw the most crashes last year. Should you find yourself staring down a collision with a deer Pabst says you should first try to avoid the impact with a steady blast of your car's horn but still prepare for the worst.

"The problem deer have is their hoofs. On blacktop, regardless of the [air] temperature, it's like ice for them. It's hard for them to stop and start quickly once they are on the blacktop." If you can't avoid the collision, he says simply apply your brake firmly and don't swerve. "That could cause you to get involved in a more serious crash. It's best to let the car do the work for you."

It's also important to report the crash to make sure the carcass is properly disposed of. Drivers should also report any dead deer that they see on the side of the road as well.

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