June is a big month for car-deer crashes due to higher deer activity, according to Randy Romanski of the Bureau of Transportation Safety at the DOT. “Deer activity increases this time of year and that’s primarily because does are looking for a place to give birth and young deer are separating from their mothers.”
In four of the last five years, June ranked as the worst or second worst month for motorists’ injuries from deer crashes. Romanski stresses, motorcyclists have less protection from injury in such crashes. “Collisions with deer can be fatal to motorcycle drivers and passengers. Last year 12 of the 13 fatal deer versus motor vehicle crashes involved motorcycles.”
Avoid deer crashes by eliminating distractions while driving and don’t speed; if you spot a deer, hit the horn, slow down, and watch for more; break firmly, if needed, but don’t swerve — unless you’re on a motorcycle. Romanski adds, if you hit a deer, pull over to the side of the road if possible, and then call law enforcement. “If your vehicle does strike a deer, stay in your vehicle; don’t touch the animal if it’s still alive.”
Law enforcement agencies reported almost 17,000 deer vs. motor vehicle crashes last year. At 854, Dane County had the most, followed by Shawano and Waukesha Counties. Fall is also an active month for deer because it’s their mating season.