Did you know that 1 out of every 169 drivers will collide with a deer during the coming year? Wisconsin and other Midwest states consistently rank in the 10 worst states for deer crashes. Collisions between vehicles and deer cause 150 fatalities annually in the United States.

Here are some helpful tips to prevent deer crashes:

deer-in-road-Pay attention to the road. Before putting your vehicle into drive, adjust your radio, climate control, GPS, and put away your cell phone. This will allow you to pay full attention to your surroundings while driving.

-Be extra attentive several hours before and after dawn and dusk as these are the times deer are most likely to be moving.

-Always be a defensive driver. If you see other drivers slowing down or stopping, this may be due to deer in the immediate area.

-Maintain proper stopping distances between yourself and the vehicles ahead of you. In the event that one of these people hits their brakes abruptly, it is important to have enough space between the two of you so that a rear-end collision does not occur.

-If you do see a deer, begin to brake rather than swerving into another lane or into oncoming traffic.

-Keep your vehicle in good working order. Make sure both your headlights and brake lights are functioning. Your headlights will allow you to see the road, ditch areas, and the deer’s reflecting eyes. Brake lights will alert the vehicles around you that you are slowing down or stopping.

-Stay in the driving lane you are in. Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Research has shown that many of the 150 fatalities that occur annually in the USA are due to drivers swerving and hitting oncoming traffic, or swerving into a ditch area and rolling their vehicle.

Autumn is the most dangerous season for deer collisions. Fall is here – watch for deer!

-Brian Anderson