Motorists advised to watch for deer on the move
Deer-vehicle collisions increase during the last three months of the year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2013) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Department of Highways, reminds motorists that the number of dear-vehicle collisions increase substantially during the last three months of the year.
Collisions between deer and vehicles take a decided upturn in the fall. About half of deer-vehicle collisions are reported during the last three months of the year when deer are most active.
Multiple factors combine to contribute to deer-related crashes this time of year:
· Mating season puts deer on the move.
· Crop harvest reduces food supply and hiding places.
· More farmers, hunters, and hikers are in the countryside coming into contact with deer and causing them to move about.
· Deer tend to move at dawn and dusk when visibility is low.
Motorists should consider these driving tips to help improve their personal safety:
· Always wear a seatbelt.
· Drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside (especially at dusk).
· Slow down immediately when you spot a deer. Proceed slowly until you are past the point where deer have crossed.
· Don’t swerve to avoid a deer. Stay in your lane. Swerving can result in a more serious crash with oncoming traffic.
· In the event of a crash, keep both hands on the wheel and brake down steadily.
· Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor.
The onset of cooler weather is a reminder for everyone to stay attentive while driving. This is especially important during the twilight hours when deer and other wildlife tend to move while visibility can be an issue. Deer often travel in herds, so drivers should be especially on alert because more could be close behind when they spot a deer crossing the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 150 people are killed nationwide each year in motor vehicle crashes involving deer. In 2012, police agencies in Kentucky reported 2,766 deer-related crashes, causing 106 injuries with no reported driver fatalities – a decrease from 2011 when 2,972 crashes with 148 injuries and three fatalities were attributed to deer.