Oct. 7 – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reminds drivers to be careful on state highways as deer moved by crop harvesters – as well as mating season – begin to move more deer on highways .
Deer become more active between October and December, greatly increasing the possibility of being struck by vehicles.
Although collisions with deer occur throughout the year, the danger increases dramatically in the fall.
According to data from the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, there were 38 collisions involving deer between January and September of last year – and there were 58 collisions with deer between October and December.
“Our deer collisions are increasing dramatically this time of year,” said Major Barry Smith, deputy chief of the sheriff’s department. “We had two collisions with our cruisers and deer last year.”
Deer are active until October, become more active in early November, and then experience another high movement surge in early December, said Private Corey King, public information officer for the Kentucky State Police in Henderson. .
“If you look at the top 10 counties in the state (for deer-related accidents), it’s all in western Kentucky,” King said. “Daviess County is not in the top 10, but we have our fair share.”
Most accidents do not involve a vehicle hitting the deer. Instead, King said, the driver will swerve to avoid a deer, compensate and lose control of the vehicle, causing the crash.
But a collision with a deer can be serious, Smith said.
“We had them in the windshield,” he said.
The transport cabinet recommends that people drive with their bright lights on at night and at dawn, unless another vehicle is approaching. Drivers should be alert and slow down immediately if they spot a deer attempting to cross the road, as deer usually travel in groups.
“If you see one, you can count on two, three or four behind,” King said.
If a deer is in front of you, apply your breaks regularly and stay in your lane. Do not try to avoid the accident, as a swerve may lose control, get off the road, or hit another vehicle.
“This is where the majority of people make their mistake,” King said.
If you hit a deer and it’s still alive after the collision, report it to law enforcement, who can handle the situation, King said.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, [email protected], Twitter: @JamesMayse