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Wisconsin 2012 Deer Accident Statistics by County

Dane County among Most Dangerous for Deer Collisions

There were nearly 19,000 collisions involving deer on Wisconsin roadways in 2012, above the 6-year average of roughly 17,000. By comparison, there were just over 5,000 alcohol-related crashes over the same year. Fortunately, deer accidents are much less likely to end in death or injury to human passengers than alcohol-related crashes, but they cost victims millions of dollars in economic impact every year.

Dane County saw the highest number of deer accidents in 2012 with 851, followed by Shawano County with 800 and Waukesha County with 710.

Deer Crossing Road in Dane County, WisconsinLuckily for those involved, of the 39 crashes with reported injuries none proved fatal.

This was not the case in Outagamie County, whose 2 deer crash fatalities were the most among Wisconsin Counties in 2012.

Overall, 90% of all deer crashes occurred on rural roads, highways and county trunks. Nearly 95% of crashes with injuries occurred outside of cities, and only 1 of the 14 deer-related traffic deaths in 2012 happened in an urban environment.

Dane County has a unique combination of heavy traffic spreading outward from the urban center of Madison and plentiful forest and farmland deer use for shelter and food. Together, these factors lead to more dangerous conditions throughout the year.

Deer Activity Accelerates in Late Spring

Most Wisconsin drivers understand deer are a major automotive danger in the fall. The mating season for deer in Wisconsin begins in October, and the November hunting season typically drives deer into more unpredictable behavior.

However, late spring and early summer are frequently just as dangerous as October.

Ten times between 1996 and 2012 June was the second-most dangerous month for deer crashes behind November. In 2012, 75 deer crashes occurred in June with 58 more in July. October saw only 53.

The Wisconsin DOT believes this secondary peak period is the result of young deer moving out on their own for the first time.

Deer Danger Index for Wisconsin Motorists

Given the sweeping differences between population and urban/rural acreage among Wisconsin counties, we developed a formula to better illustrate the dangers deer pose to drivers throughout Wisconsin.

Fawn in Wisconsin

Each deer crash fatality is counted 15 times, injuries are counted 5 times and all other crashes are counted once. Each county’s population is divided against this total to create our per capita “Deer Danger Index.”

Central Wisconsin counties dominate the top of the Deer Danger Index, with residents of Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake and Columbia Counties having suffered some of the greatest damages per capita.

Lafayette, Taylor, Marquette and Door Counties round out the top 10. Door County’s high tourist population in the summer is a likely contributing factor.

Predictably, residents of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Rock Counties were among the least likely to be involved in deer accidents in 2012. Large urban centers with fewer forests and farmlands leave deer with little food and shelter. Just as importantly, densely populated areas give deer fewer access points to high-speed freeways.

County Fatal Injury Damage Total Danger Population Index
Shawano 0 11 789 800 844 41643 49
Green Lake 0 4 306 310 326 18959 58
Waushara 1 7 340 348 390 24329 62
Lafayette 0 4 217 221 237 16766 70
Vernon 0 5 359 364 384 30329 78
Waupaca 0 6 613 619 643 52285 81
Door 0 2 332 334 342 27785 81
Taylor 0 3 235 238 250 20610 82
Marquette 0 8 139 147 179 15176 84
Lincoln 0 6 266 272 296 28684 96
Richland 0 3 168 171 183 17717 96
Bayfield 1 7 107 115 157 15156 96
Columbia 0 18 477 495 567 56653 99
Florence 0 1 38 39 43 4520 105
Monroe 0 2 402 404 412 45298 109
Juneau 0 3 221 224 236 26547 112
Vilas 0 3 174 177 189 21368 113
Jackson 0 2 169 171 179 20644 115
St. Croix 1 6 671 678 716 85930 120
Langlade 0 4 140 144 160 19575 122
Green 0 5 274 279 299 37090 124
Dunn 0 6 321 327 351 44122 125
Washburn 0 5 97 102 122 15686 128
Grant 0 4 364 368 384 51069 132
Adams 0 8 103 111 143 20480 143
Manitowoc 0 6 518 524 548 80654 147
Forest 1 0 47 48 62 9304 150
Oneida 0 0 223 223 223 35689 160
Ashland 0 2 90 92 100 16016 160
Fond du Lac 1 7 562 570 612 101633 166
Portage 0 6 377 383 407 70380 172
Chippewa 0 6 324 330 354 63132 178
Rusk 0 4 59 63 79 14395 182
Dodge 0 11 416 427 471 88344 187
Pepin 0 0 39 39 39 7360 188
Marathon 1 16 606 623 701 135416 193
Washington 0 9 625 634 670 132739 198
Sheboygan 1 6 534 541 579 114922 198
Calumet 0 2 234 236 244 49617 203
Iowa 0 4 93 97 113 23749 210
Burnett 0 3 55 58 70 15333 219
Clark 0 6 115 121 145 34615 238
Outagamie 2 11 658 671 743 180345 242
Sauk 1 5 220 226 260 63162 242
Buffalo 0 0 53 53 53 13357 252
Marinette 1 11 93 105 163 41610 255
Eau Claire 0 9 351 360 396 101438 256
Jefferson 0 4 302 306 322 84509 262
Kewaunee 0 1 71 72 76 20505 269
Trempealeau 0 7 74 81 109 29582 271
Winnebago 0 12 518 530 578 169541 293
Price 0 3 30 33 45 13802 306
La Crosse 0 2 370 372 380 116713 307
Walworth 0 7 298 305 333 102945 309
Douglas 1 5 85 91 125 43887 351
Ozaukee 0 7 189 196 224 87054 388
Iron 0 1 10 11 15 5886 392
Sawyer 1 0 22 23 37 16513 446
Polk 0 5 70 75 95 43476 457
Brown 0 1 540 541 545 254586 467
Wood 1 5 114 120 154 73959 480
Waukesha 0 18 692 710 782 393843 503
Oconto 0 5 43 48 68 37318 548
Crawford 0 0 29 29 29 16397 565
Dane 0 10 841 851 891 509939 572
Barron 0 5 48 53 73 45676 625
Menominee 0 0 5 5 5 4317 863
Kenosha 0 0 160 160 160 167757 1048
Racine 0 4 147 151 167 195041 1167
Pierce 0 3 20 23 35 40976 1170
Rock 0 4 66 70 86 160739 1869
Milwaukee 0 3 154 157 169 956023 5656
               
Total 14 369 18512 18895 20567 5742615 279

No Such Thing as a No-Fault Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car or motorcycle collision with a deer, contact the Warshafsky Law Firm to discuss your options. Even if it was a one-car accident, we can help you find ways to recoup what your insurance doesn’t cover.

Warshafsky employs a meticulous in-house investigation and accident reconstruction team. Our investigators find what the police and other law firms ignore, and what insurance companies want to keep hidden. We root out hidden liabilities so you aren’t left to pay for the negligence of others.

At Warshafsky Law Firm, we understand when you’ve been injured, it is about the money.

Contact the car accident law firm Madison turns to for the largest settlements and judgments to receive a free consultation on your case.

All cited information is courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and represents the most recent crash statistics available at the time of posting
Deer crash statistics for all non-injury collisions require a threshold of at least $1000 in property damage to be recorded

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