(WSIL) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has issued an alert for drivers: it’s the start of fall deer-vehicle collision season.
Shorter days and cooler evenings serve to kick off the fall deer mating season. Increased field activity by farmers as they harvest crops may also contribute to putting deer on the move and make them more likely to come into the path of passing vehicles.
“Driving during twilight hours can be especially hazardous this time of year,” said KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat said. “Deer are more likely to be on the move around sunrise and sunset, the time of day when they can easily be missed moving among the shadows.”
Crashes involving deer are blamed for nearly 200 traffic fatalities nationwide.
“October, November, and December account for about half of the deer-car collisions,” said Poat. “We’re urging drivers to use extra caution on the roadway through the end of the year.”
Kentucky Transportation officials offer several driving tips to help improve safety:
- 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.
- Motorists are asked to report all deer-vehicle collisions to police so locations and crash numbers can be recorded and monitored.
- 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 prefer to be active.