According to the National Highway Safety Administration, there are approximately 1.5 million deer related automobile accidents each year in the United States. Kentucky experienced a very wet July and August this year. Those months are usually high stress periods for Kentucky’s deer population. Because of the change in weather patterns, it is expected Kentucky’s deer population will increase this fall. “October, November, and December account for more than half of all reported deer-vehicle collisions,” said Deneatra Henderson, chief engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Madisonville office. Here are some tips from the Cabinet as we enter this busy season:
– Always wear a safety belt.
– Keep headlights on bright unless other vehicles are approaching.
– Drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are more active. Pay attention to the road shoulders. Deer may suddenly attempt to run into the road. Always be on the lookout for reflective eyes on and off the road.
– Slow down immediately when you spot a deer crossing the roadway ahead, as deer tend to travel in groups.
– Don’t swerve to avoid a deer-Swerving can result in a more serious crash with an oncoming vehicle or roadside object.
– In the event of a crash, keep both hands on the wheel and apply brakes steadily until stopped.
If you do have the misfortune of hitting a deer, keeps these safety precautions in mind:
– Get the car off the roadway onto the shoulder is possible. Keep your car illuminated with your hazard lights on.
– Call local law enforcement and report the collision as you would with any other accident, especially if the deer’s body is blocking traffic, or if there is vehicle or property damage.
– Do not approach an injured deer.
Like all safety tips, your best defense is common sense. Stay safe as we enter this busy season.