You know the importance of farming, especially dairy, to Wisconsin’s economy and history. As you drive through the state, you see multiple farms raising livestock. And even though fences hold them in, sometimes farm animals can find a way out and try to share the road with you.

But if you try to pass livestock before they have a chance to cross safely, you may be breaking the law. In Wisconsin, you must give farm animals the right-of-way if they are on the road. But if other drivers don’t know or follow this law, they may put you in danger when you stop.

A law from another era

Giving the right-of-way to farmers driving livestock may seem a bit outdated. It may have been a necessary law before trucks and trailers became powerful enough to haul the animals. But if cattle or sheep get out and you see a farmer trying to herd them back to their home, the law does require you to stop and wait.

Stopping in the middle of the road may lead to an accident

However, stopping for animals means you are a motionless object in the path of other drivers. If they are driving quickly and don’t see you, they may run into your vehicle.

An inattentive driver could damage your car, push you off the road and possibly injure you. Despite your lawful intentions, you may need to rely on insurance to pay for car damage or medical bills.

Stopping for livestock is the lawful choice

While you don’t want to put yourself in danger, you may still choose to give livestock the right-of-way on Wisconsin roads. If you don’t, you may find yourself in violation of the law.