By Paul Schmitt
Local law enforcement and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation are urging drivers to slow down and to be alert for increased deer activity. Deer/vehicle crashes typically peak during late October and early November as the bucks pursue potential mates during the rut. Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle offers some advice when traveling on the roadways, especially wooded areas.
Deer activity also usually spikes during the hours around dawn and dusk. You can find a list of other tips to help avoid hitting a deer below.
WisDOT offers the following tips to avoid deer crashes and motorist injuries:
- Deer can be spotted any time of day, but are most active in early morning and evening hours.
- Slow down, eliminate distractions, and make sure all vehicle occupants are buckled up.
- If you see a deer, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten it away.
- If a collision with a deer is unavoidable:
- Brake firmly. Stay in your lane.
- Avoid sudden swerving which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and result in a more serious crash.
- The one exception is if you are operating a motorcycle, in which case you should slow down, brake firmly and swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer. Try to stay within your lane if possible to avoid hitting other objects.
- If you do hit a deer:
- Get your vehicle safely off the road if possible and call law enforcement. Be prepared to describe your specific location.
- Generally, it’s safest to stay buckled-up inside your vehicle. Walking along a highway is always dangerous as you could be struck by another vehicle.
- Don’t attempt to move an injured deer.