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June is a dangerous month for deer-vehicle crashes

File photo by Jed Carlson.

Glen Moberg

Wisconsin Public Radio

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be extra vigilant in June because of the increased potential for deer-vehicle crashes.

Although crashes tend to peak in the fall during hunting season, June is typically when motorists are most likely to be injured, according to a department news release.

Randy Romanski, safety program chief of the Wisconsin State Patrol, said female deer are on the move this time of the year.

"There's an increase in deer activity. The females are searching for places to give birth. The young deer are separating from their mothers," Romanski said. "As a result, they're more present on the roadside, so it's something that motorists need to be cautious and aware of."

Deer can approach roadsides any time of the day, but dawn and dusk are particularly dangerous.

Romanski said high traffic volumes in June, and vehicles traveling at high speeds in good weather are also to blame for the spike in accidents.

"If you see a deer, number one, slow down. Blow your horn with one long blast to frighten it away," Romanski said. "Typically if you see one deer, there could be more. In the instance of a collision, brake if it's unavoidable. Brake firmly and stay in your lane."

Romanski said if you’re in a car or truck, you should avoid swerving to maintain control if a crash is inevitable. If you’re on a motorcycle, you should swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer, but should try to stay in your lane.

Drivers should always wear seatbelts, and motorcyclists should always wear protective equipment, according to the DOT.

Wisconsin law enforcement agencies reported 20,482 deer-motor vehicle crashes last year. Dane County had the most with 959, followed by Waukesha County with 869 and Manitowoc County with 788.

Nine people were killed in deer related crashes. Six were motorcyclists.

Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2018, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

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