KYTC warning drivers to look out for deer as we head into colder months

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 8:40 AM CDT
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is issuing an “Antler Alert” to remind motorists to watch out for wildlife on the road as we head into colder seasons.

Every year, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. issues a closely watched report of collisions involving deer and other wildlife, based on insurance claims.

For the year that ended June 30, 2020, State Farm reported more than 1.9 million animal collision claims in the United States, of which 1.5 million involved deer.

On average, U.S. drivers have a 1 in 116 chance of a collision with an animal. Kentucky ranks above the national average at 18th among states.

As the report notes, highway crash rates involving wildlife increase sharply in October, November and December with mating seasons, hunting seasons and fall harvests, which will prompt deer to roam in search of new hiding places and sources of food.

You can find a list of Kentucky crashes involving deer from 2020 by county here.

KYTC offers these driving tips to help improve safety:

  • 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 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.

Motorists are asked to report all deer-vehicle collisions to police.

KYTC traffic engineers use the crash data to aid in placing deer-crossing warning signs and other safety measures.

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