Wisconsin is a beautiful state. Our scenic woods and waters are a home to many wild animals. But, nature doesn’t stay in neat little boxes. The animals that call Wisconsin home may wander onto our roads causing a hazard to motorcyclists. Our Wausau motorcycle accident lawyers have compiled a list of 8 animals that can cause Wisconsin motorcycle crashes.

  1. Deer. In 2011, deer caused 18,176 accidents on Wisconsin roads and highways. It is no surprise that deer are responsible for the majority of motorcycle-animal crashes in Wisconsin. Read our article “Oh Deer! Avoiding Wisconsin Deer-Motorcycle Crashes” for more information about deer accident prevention.
  2. Dogs. Dogs aren’t wild animals, but they do stray onto the road and sometimes they chase motorcycles. There are different schools of thought on the best way for riders to handle dogs. Some say that you should keep going and vary your speed to confuse the dog. Others say you should stop and stare down the animal. The best strategy probably depends on your personality and comfort level.
  3. Wild carnivores. Wisconsin has feral dogs, foxes, wolves, coyotes, and bears. These animals generally try to avoid humans. Give them a wide berth whenever possible.
  4. Reptiles. Never assume that a snake on the road is dead. We’ve heard several stories of riders who have used their boots to sweep what they thought was a dead snake out of the way only to be surprised when the snake struck. Try to drive around snakes. Turtles can be treated like large rocks.
  5. Farm animals. It’s not unusual to see cows, sheep, or other animals on rural roads. Treat farm animals as you would deer. Slow down, cover the brake, and prepare to stop.
  6. Insects. Occasionally, a bee or spider can fly at a motorcyclist’s face or get under his visor. All you can do is keep calm and maintain control of your bike. Wear goggles or a visor to keep insects out of your eyes.
  7. Small animals. Raccoons, skunks, squirrels, rabbits, possums, moles, beavers, otters, badgers, cats, or rodents may dart across the road and into your path. There is no warning. These animals are very fast and won’t leave you time to react. Some experts say that if the animal is five pounds or smaller, you should keep riding. But you may not have time to judge the animal’s size.
  8. Birds. Sometimes a bird will fly into a motorcyclist. There is no way to prevent it and the only thing you can do is depend on your skills and safety gear to prevent injury.

Of course, the biggest danger to Wisconsin motorcyclists is other drivers. If you are injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, will inform you of your rights. To order your free copy, use the link on this page or contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.