A National Highway Safety Administration study shows that deer-related car accidents have consistently risen due to increasing deer populations and destruction of their habitat. In Wisconsin, there were 20,413 such accidents reported in 2016, up from 18,312 in 2014.
The odds in Wisconsin are approximately 1 in 77 that you’ll hit a deer. That ranks Wisconsin as the 6th worst in the nation. The worst month is November, followed by October and December.
- Dawn, dusk, and nighttime are the most likely times you’ll encounter a deer.
- Use extra caution when you see deer crossing signs.
- Don’t rely on vehicle mounted whistles or reflectors. While manufacturers may refer to them as “scientifically sound”, research indicates otherwise.
- Deer are herd animals. If you see one, more are likely close by.
- Don’t swerve your vehicle to avoid hitting a deer. This could cause you to lose control or hit another vehicle.
If you do hit a deer:
- Notify the local law enforcement agency of the accident.
- Stay away from the animal. A frightened, wounded deer could cause harm to you.
- Do a thorough check of your car. Check for leaking fluids, broken lights, a broken hood latch, and tire damage.
- Report the accident to your insurance agent.
Drive safe this fall!