Reminder: peak season for deer-vehicle crashes is here
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — October, November and December is peak season for deer-vehicle crashes in Kentucky, the state’s Transportation Cabinet is reminding residents, saying about half of such crashes occur during those last three months of the year.
Shorter days and cooler nights help trigger deer mating season and put them on the move, according to Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Deer Program Coordinator Noelle Thompson. Fall harvesting also contributes to this movement as deer are forced to range farther afield for forage and hiding places.
In Kentucky, nearly 3,000 highway crashes involving deer were reported to police in 2021, according to the KYTC Office of Highway Safety, an increase of about 100 crashes from 2020.
KYTC offers these driving tips:
- Slow down immediately upon spotting a deer crossing the roadway; they tend to travel in groups
- Don’t swerve to avoid a deer, which 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
- Always wear a seat belt
- Keep headlights on bright at night unless other vehicles are approaching
- Eliminate distractions while driving: Phones down
- Drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at dawn and dusk, when deer are most active