You know they are there, but you will still be caught off-guard when a deer suddenly bolts onto your path. There are over 500,000 animal-related accidents every year in this country, and the increase in deer population and encroachment of habitat in rural environments are likely to make collisions in Wisconsin more frequent.
There is no sure method to avoid colliding with a deer, but the following driving tips will lower the frequency and gravity of accidents:
- Drive with caution, i.e. slower and focused, when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and where roads divide agricultural fields from forests;
- Deer seldom run alone. If you see one, there may be more nearby;
- Be very careful from sunset to midnight, and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise;
- Use high beam headlights at night if there is no oncoming traffic. You are likely to better see deer near the road, and illuminate their eyes;
- If you approach a deer or group, slow down and blow your horn to frighten them away;
- When a deer jumps in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but stay in your lane. Swerving to avoid the animal can cause you to lose control of your car, or hit another vehicle;
- Always wear a seat belt. Most people injured in a deer-vehicle collision were not restrained at the time of the crash.
With the longer nights of the fall and winter seasons, far more Wisconsin motorists are on the road during the hours of sunrise and after sunset, increasing the odds of a deer collision. Spread the word.
Hupy & Abraham, S.C. has offices in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Quad Cities in Iowa, and Milwaukee, Madison, and Appleton in Wisconsin, and Gurnee and Bloomington in Illinois. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, contact Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) for a free evaluation of your case, or send us an e-mail with your questions.