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Wisconsin Car Accident Trends

— June 9, 2022

The safest months to drive are January, February, and March, so keep this in mind when driving in Wisconsin. And look out for deer.

National trends show year after year that car accidents increase in the summertime. It’s not a total mystery – kids are out of school, people are going on vacation or to the beach – so it’s natural that more cars on the road will lead to more crashes.

Wisconsin is no different than the rest of the country, and sees a consistent increase in June, July, and August crashes. In 2021, however, fatal car accidents actually peaked in October, with 84 crashes. It was the highest number of fatal crashes in one month that Wisconsin had seen over the recent years.

Let’s explore more Wisconsin car collision trends below.

2020 Trends

Overall, 2020 was the first year that car accidents decreased in a long time. Obviously the pandemic affected many trends throughout the country, and car accidents were no exception. Nationally, car accidents decreased in 2020, presumably because more people were staying home. In Wisconsin, 2020 had the fewest number of collisions that it had seen since before 2015.

However, car accidents that involved a fatality actually increased in 2020. There was apparently no improvement in dangerous driving patterns that year. Fatal collisions went up from 511 to 540 in 2020.

Drugs & Alcohol

Alcohol and drug related car crashes increased in 2020. This correlates with the pandemic of course, and could point to the increase in depression and substance abuse that it brought. However, Wisconsin has actually seen an increase in drug-related crashes for 6 years straight. 2020 was up 66% from 2015, with a steady increase occurring each year.

According to this analysis, Wisconsin comes in 10th place in terms of worst states for DUIs. This score is based on DUI arrests, fatalities, death rate, and more.


Milwaukee is of course the biggest county and naturally has the most crashes, with more than 24,000 each year. Dane county took second place in 2020 with 7,970 crashes, and Waukesha took third with 6,638.

Sheboygan county, which doesn’t even make the top five, saw the worst Wisconsin car crash back in 2002. A 50-car pileup caused 10 deaths and 39 injuries, and is still referenced as the state’s worst historical crash. Reports say that foggy weather is the likely cause for the tragic accident.

Deer, Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals Could be Spreading Variants
Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata from Pexels

What Causes These Accidents?

When it comes to examining car accident data, it’s important to look at the cause of accidents so we can work to prevent them. Many accidents in Wisconsin are caused by the normal suspects, such as road conditions and driver error, but this state does have a unique cause.

A major cause of Wisconsin car accidents is deer. According to a 2020 report, there has been a car and deer collision every single day for the previous four years straight. Every November is mating season for deer, and during that time they run around the state with less care for traffic. These collisions lead to many injuries and even some deaths, particularly for motorcyclists. Locals hope that advancement in auto technology will help prevent these types of crashes in the future.

The safest months to drive are January, February, and March, so keep this in mind when driving in Wisconsin. And look out for deer.

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