A dangerous time on the roads

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 3:02 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - For drivers in Wisconsin, it’s one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road.

That’s because deer are entering their mating season, known as the rut, and they are on the move.

Over the past three years, Brown County has averaged 502 car-deer crashes a year.

And according to Captain Dan Sandberg with the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, now is the time to be extra cautious behind the wheel.

“20 to 25-percent of our deer crashes that occur during the year occur during the month of November,” says Capt. Sandberg.

With deer entering their rut period, bucks are chasing does and making the animals extremely unpredictable at all times of the day.

Capt. Sandberg advises that dawn and dusk are the worst.

“The two most dangerous times are those normal times when deer get active, is right at sunrise and right at sunset, and the biggest problem of that for us as people is you can’t see and react to them,” says Capt. Sandberg.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 556 motorists were injured in car-deer collisions last year and nine people died.

Capt. Sandberg says reducing your speed, especially at night, could save your life.

“We highly recommend that you slow down on those country roads because there’s a reall good chance you’re going to see deer on those roadways,” says Capt. Sandberg.

And finally, he offers this advice if a deer is suddenly in front of you car.

“If you can not safely stop or slow down, or safely maneuver around the deer, you just need to drive, because most of those deer come out and surprise you, you just need to brace, make sure you’re wearing your seatbelt and just drive straight through because most of the time when injuries occur is when people try to react and swerve to avoid the deer, they still end up either hitting the deer or they end up missing the deer and they crash off the roadway further increasing chances of injuries or death,” says Capt. Sandberg.

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