The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is warning motorists that this is the peak season for highway collisions involving deer and other wildlife.
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.
A database compiled by Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Department for Highway Safety noted that there were 14 deer-related collisions in Russell County last year.
Neighboring Pulaski County was among the highest in the state with 70.
In Kentucky, 2,091 highway crashes involving deer were reported to police in 2020.
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.