No matter where you drive – from rural roads to the outskirts of town – the threat of a collision with a deer is real. Wisconsin ranks #6 out of the top 10 states that face hitting a deer the most. Odds of hitting a deer in WI are 1 in 77!
Deer collision accidents are at their highest right now because of the rut (deer breeding season) and with hunting right around the corner they will be pushed from their normal areas and forced to travel causing them to cross roads in areas not typically seen.
Here are a few things you can do to help avoid a run in that might cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to
thousands to repair your vehicle
A Few Facts…
- Deer collisions are most likely to occur during the rut (deer breeding season) & during the hunting season – starting in late October through early January.
- Prime times that deer travel near and cross roads are around dawn and from dusk to late evening.
- Deer tend to run in groups. So if you see one, be assured that others are usually close by or right behind one that just crossed the road!
Deer Season SAFE Driving Tips
1. Always wear your seatbelt – Sixty percent of fatal animal crashes occurred when the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.
2. Know the likely deer-crossing zones – Whether or not a road is marked with a Deer Crossing Sign, be especially alert for deer when driving on roads or highways on the outskirts of town and in rural areas – especially where roads divide farm land from wooded land. Use your high beams & blow your horn. When driving at night, especially during peak hazard times, use your high-beam headlights when there is no on-coming traffic. This won’t necessarily deter the deer from entering the roadway, but it will increase visibility so that you can more easily spot the deer sooner. Blowing your horn for 1 steady blast before entering a known area that deer cross will alert them and help deter them from crossing.
3. Know when deer are on the move & SLOW down – Be especially careful between 5AM and 8AM and between 5PM and midnight. Drive slower in areas you suspect deer to cross, driving 10 mph slower in those areas will enable you to stop quicker and avoid a possible collision.
4. Don’t rely on devices – Items like deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors have not been proven effective at deterring deer crossing roadways.
5. Brake firmly if you notice a deer near the road – Slow down and stop if necessary. Be careful & never swerve out of your lane either into on-coming traffic or off the shoulder and into a ditch.
6. Keep your distance – If you do strike a deer, don’t approach it. An injured deer is frightened and can injure you as well as further injuring itself. If the deer is blocking the roadway, it poses a threat to other drivers; so call the authorities immediately.
7. Contact your insurance agent – If you strike a deer and have damage to your vehicle or damage to some else’s property, notify your insurance representative as soon as possible and provide the necessary details. Also make sure to contact the local sheriff’s office and report the accident as most insurance companies will require that it is reported.