By Cynthia Germain
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation urges motorists to slow down and be alert as deer activity increases. The DOT notes that deer/vehicle crashes typically peak during October and November as bucks pursue potential mates. Randy Sahs of Sahs Auto in Sturgeon Bay has seen a steady increase of deer strike damage since July. Sahs expects the deer hits to continue to rise through the fall, with high-cost repairs. Vehicles may incur mostly cosmetic damage from a deer strike. However, newer models having expensive headlights and other front end high technology can be particularly costly.
David Pabst, Director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety says that deer can be spotted any time of day, but are most active at dusk and dawn. He warns that if you see one deer cross your path, expect more to follow. Pabst suggests that if you can’t avoid a deer in your path, the safest option is to hit the brakes and the deer. If you swerve suddenly, you can lose control and then you risk a more serious collision with another vehicle or a stationary object such as a tree or utility pole. The only exception to this are motorcyclists, who should slow down, brake firmly and swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer. Last year, Wisconsin law enforcement agencies reported 20,413 crashes between deer and motor vehicles. A county-by-county breakdown can be found on the Wisconsin DOT website.