It’s that time of the year again when the vehicle versus deer collisions are on the rise and state transportation officials are reminding motorists to be cautious.
A news release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the combination of fewer daylight hours and cooler evening temperatures cause deer to emerge earlier than normal this time of year. Kentucky is 15th in the nation for deer-vehicle collisions with drivers facing a 1 in 100 chance of hitting a deer.
In 2017, more than 3,200 deer-vehicle collisions were reported to police agencies across Kentucky. This is slightly more than the 3,100 collisions reported in 2016. The number is likely higher since not all crashes are reported to police.
Christian, Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties were in the top 30 in Kentucky last year for vehicle-versus deer wrecks.
In addition to causing damage to vehicles, deer contribute to more than 100 injury crashes and about three highway fatalities in Kentucky each year.
The increase in deer-vehicle collisions usually starts in early to mid-October when farmers ramp up fall grain harvesting. The harvest reduces both food availability and a reduction of concealed habitat for the deer. Increased activity during mating season causes deer to stray from their normal travel patterns, pushing them into residential neighborhoods and urban areas with higher traffic numbers.
Motorists are reminded to drive defensively and be on the lookout for deer. Don’t swerve to miss the animals, as doing so could cause you to strike another vehicle or object. Always wear your seat belt and slow down immediately when you see a deer ahead.