MANCHESTER — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is joining area law enforcement agencies to remind motorists that the number of deer-vehicle crashes increase substantially during the last three months of the year.
“As you are paying attention to your driving, stay alert to signs of deer adjacent to the roadway. Motorists should use extra caution, and can reduce the risk by taking extra time to drive carefully – especially during dawn and dusk hours when visibility is low,” said Mike Calebs, acting chief district engineer for the Department of Highways District 11, which includes Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie and Whitley counties.
Multiple factors 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 ensure their personal safety:
• Always wear a seat belt.
• 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 crash, even if the damage is minor.
In 2015, police agencies in Kentucky reported 3,250 deer-related crashes, causing 162 injuries with three fatalities – an increase from 2014 when 3,092 crashes with 118 injuries and three fatalities were attributed to deer.
Kentucky deer-related crash stats (2015):
Total collisions with deer — 3,250 (2.4 percent of all collisions).
Total injury collisions with deer — 124 (162 total injured).
Total fatal collisions with deer — three (three total killed, none in District 11).
Kentucky deer-related crash stats (2014):
Total collisions with deer — 3,092 (2.4 percent of all collisions).
Total injury collisions with deer — 107 (118 total injured).
Total fatal collisions w/ deer — three (three total killed, none in District 11).
District 11’s county-by-county report on deer-related crashes in 2015:
Bell County had 24 deer-related crashes, the highest total in District 11; Whitley County, 18; Knox County, 15; Laurel County, 15; Clay County, 13; Harlan, 12; Jackson County, 5; and Leslie County; 1.