MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin state transportation officials are warning drivers to keep an eye out for deer on the roads now that spring has finally sprung and critters of all kinds are giving birth to their young.
“Deer become more active at the same time as people do. When you start heading out for spring and summer travel, expect to see deer trying to cross highways," Bureau of Transportation Safety Director David Pabst said. "They can be unpredictable so drivers should always carefully scan the sides of the road ahead, buckle up, and put the phone down."
Last year alone, there were more than 16,000 crashes with deer on Wisconsin roads. In those crashes, more than 500 people were injured and five people were killed.
While deer crashes are possible at any time, the majority happen in the early morning and evening hours when deer are especially active.
The easiest way to avoid them is simply driving safely: slow down, get rid of distractions, scan the road for any unexpected movement and use your headlights during dimly lit hours.
If a crash is unavoidable, Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials recommend braking and staying in your lane; swerving to avoid the deer can cause drivers to lose control and create more serious crashes.
The first priority after a crash is getting yourself and your vehicle off the road if at all possible. From there, drivers should call 911 and wait in their car until help arrives.
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