Motorcycle Fatalities by Deer are Higher in 2016
Provided, with permission, by ABATE of Wisconsin
It’s the perfect ride; quiet country road, smooth pavement, picturesque scenery and the hum of the road. Just the motorcycle and the country; an escape from the stress and business of life. Suddenly a deer appears out of nowhere and in an instant, that biker loses his/her life. It’s an all too common story in Wisconsin and across the country and one that all motorists need to be aware of.
To date, six motorcyclists have lost their lives because of deer compared to two fatalities in all 2015 and eight in 2014 and there are still a few months left for riding season. Since no one could ever predict when or where a deer will pop out, it’s up to the rider to watch for them.
According to Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are more deer-vehicle collisions during the months of October and November when deer are most active during the breeding and May and June when yearling are seeking out new areas to live. There are also other contributing factors such as weather and food sources. No matter what the reason, the deer are out there and motorcyclists need to be aware and be proactive.
- Ride slower during peek deer times. Decreasing speed gives more time to spot a deer and plan an escape route.
- Cover the brakes to reduce your reaction time.
- Use your high-beam headlight and your additional driving light when possible.
- Stagger riders in a group; if one hits a deer this will lower the chance of another crashing or more riders being involved in that crash.
- If a motorcyclist sees a deer:
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path. Be ready to stop.
- Turn off your high beams or flash your headlights. This may break the spell that seems to cause deer to freeze in the road.
There are many hazards for motorcyclists out on the road; some can be avoided and some cannot. Deer that can’t be avoided have become a threat to motorcyclists and that threat is growing larger each year. Riders need to be aware of this imminent threat and that it can happen at any time of the year, any time of day and in any location.
ABATE (A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) is a bi-partisan grass roots organization with a goal to give the motorcyclists of Wisconsin a strong, united voice with regard to their future, their way of life, their safety and their legal rights as motorcyclists and citizens.