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Tuesday, 20 November 2018 22:25

Every Day, a Car Hits a Deer in WI; 2nd Week of Nov. Among Most Dangerous on WI Roads

Written by Joe Taschler, Paul Gores and Andrew Mollica, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Todd Gillette, owner of Gillette’s Collision Center in Waukesha, works on a repair estimate for a 2008 Chevy Tahoe. The SUV recently collided with a a white-tailed buck deer. The SUV's owner, Ryan Hunkins of Mukwonago, said his wife was driving when the buck jumped over a median barrier on I-43 and was struck by the SUV in midair. Todd Gillette, owner of Gillette’s Collision Center in Waukesha, works on a repair estimate for a 2008 Chevy Tahoe. The SUV recently collided with a a white-tailed buck deer. The SUV's owner, Ryan Hunkins of Mukwonago, said his wife was driving when the buck jumped over a median barrier on I-43 and was struck by the SUV in midair. Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Index

 

Crashes Year-Round Are More Common Now


Jim Fleury, owner of Fleury’s Body Repair in Mukwonago, said that while the typical peak season for deer-car hits is around the week of Nov. 8, there have been more throughout the year than in the past. He’s been in the auto body business for more than 40 years.

 

“I don’t remember years ago seeing them so much all year long,” Fleury said. “It was always in the fall. But now it seems we’re seeing more deer hits all the time."

 

Deer Accidents in Wisconsin

 

A deer-car collision often will damage fenders, headlights, hoods, bumper covers and even the reinforcement areas of those parts, depending on the speed of the vehicle and the size of the animal, Fleury said.

 

It’s not unusual for a deer that has been struck to bounce along the side of a vehicle, peppering it with dents in addition to damaging it at the initial point of contact, he said.

 

“They can total cars out easily if they are going fast enough and it’s a big enough deer,” Fleury said.

 

'I Never Saw It...'

 

For all the sophisticated safety equipment on vehicles these days, there isn't a lot that can prevent deer crashes.

 

Some higher-end vehicles with big price tags have sensors that can detect heat that would let a driver know a critter or a pedestrian is up ahead, Gillette said.

 

But that is only a small portion of the vehicles on the road.

 

For most motorists, avoiding deer is a decidedly low-tech process.

 

Slowing down and keeping your eyes on the road---especially during the early morning, late afternoon and at night---are among the best defenses motorists have in avoiding a deer crash.

 

"We are having at least one vehicle vs. deer crash a night, currently," Chief Peter Hoell of the Germantown Police Department said in an email.

 

Even when you have your eyes focused squarely on the road, deer often appear seemingly out of nowhere.


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