Motorists advised to watch for deer on the move

It’s that time of the year when motorists need to be alert for deer on the move. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials indicate deer-vehicle collisions kill about 200 Americans each year. That’s why the transportation cabinet is joining area law enforcement agencies to remind motorists to expect a rise in deer sightings as the fall crop harvest and mating season begin triggering an increase in deer moving about.

Transportation officials say Kentucky crash numbers indicate there were 162 injuries and three highway fatalities caused by deer related collisions in 2015. Here is the total number of crashes involving deer in Union and neighboring counties:

Union County – 38
Crittenden County – 3
Henderson County – 70
Webster County – 28

State officials indicate the jump in deer-vehicle collisions usually starts in mid-October when farmers make substantial progress on the fall harvest, greatly reducing food availability and hiding places for deer. Cooler evenings and shorter days in the fall kick off mating season, putting deer on the move causing them to roam into residential neighborhoods and urban areas with higher traffic numbers.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials offer motorists some driving tips to help improve your personal safety:
– Always wear a seat belt.
– Keep headlights on bright after dark if other vehicles are not present.
– Drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside (especially at dawn and dusk when deer prefer to be active).
– Slow down immediately when you spot a deer as other deer tend to travel in groups.
– Don’t swerve to avoid a deer, which can result in a more serious crash with oncoming traffic.
– In the event of a crash, keep both hands on the wheel and steadily apply your brakes.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the average claim for damage from a deer collision in 2015 was just over 4-thousand dollars. Motorists are asked to report all deer-vehicle wrecks to police so locations and crash numbers can be recorded and monitored.

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