Did you know that there are actually times of the year when you are more or less likely to hit a deer on a Wisconsin roadway? The differences in months are actually drastic enough to warrant attention. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is warning motorists that we are in a high-risk time of year right now.

The months that statistically have the highest number of vehicle-related deer accidents are in the fall. Deer are in rut, and moving more. This is also why the hunting season takes place in the fall. With deer moving, they are more likely to be crossing roadways. Also, the days are shorter and more traffic is on the road at peak times for accidents. Most accidents occur right around sunrise or sunset.

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The next highest risk time of year is right now in May and June. That's because fawns are being born, and deer are on the move to find a place to give birth.

Small fawn curled up in the grass.

Younger deer are also leaving their mothers at this time of the year. In May there were 1300 incidents, and over 1600 crashes in June.

Wisconsin DOT
Wisconsin DOT

In 2022, there were over 16,000 deer-related crashes. Five people were killed in these accidents. 500 people were injured in the crashes as well.

How can you protect yourself? The Wisconsin DOT offers these tips:

  • slow down
  • eliminate distractions
  • wear your seatbelt
  • scan the road ahead carefully
  • honk your horn if you see a deer crossing
  • brake firmly if you need to and stay in your lane
  • avoid sharp swerving as you could lose control of the vehicle

Motorcyclists are at a greater risk of injury if they strike a deer. If you're riding a motorcycle, brake firmly, and swerve to avoid the deer. Attempt to stay in your lane to avoid other vehicles or objects. Wearing a helmet can save your life as well.

So you hit a deer, now what?

If you hit a deer you should not attempt to move it. It could injure you. You also shouldn't be out walking around near the roadway as you could be struck by a passing vehicle. You should call 911 and wait for help.

LOOK: Here are the states where you are most likely to hit an animal

Hitting an animal while driving is a frightening experience, and this list ranks all 50 states in order of the likelihood of such incidents happening, in addition to providing tips on how to avoid them.

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