Apparently, animals with poison, fangs or claws are not the deadliest creatures we’ll encounter here in Kentucky. It seems like one of the most deadly animals in Kentucky is the deer. Now, when we say deadly, we mean an animal that has caused the most crashes, injuries and deaths to drivers on Kentucky roads.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 1.5 million deer-related accidents happen each year. Peak season is from mid-October to mid-December. Three out of four accidents involving animals involved a deer. Each year, 150 people die, while 29,000 others are injured. This causes at least $1.1 billion in vehicle damage.
Where does Kentucky rank for deer-related accidents?
In 2012, Kentucky was ranked 16th out of 50 states for deer-vehicle crashes. This year, 2014, Kentucky ranked 13th out of 50. This means the number of deer-related accidents has increased. We need to be very careful when driving, especially at night. Please slow down and be extra cautious. It’s also a good idea to look ahead and scan the road for deer silhouettes.
If you see a deer-crossing sign, please take it seriously and don’t just brush it off. For one, deer can come out of nowhere and leap in front of your car at any time. Deer are also known to cross the road but then cross back in front of you again. So, make sure to be very careful if you see deer around the road.
In case you are caught off guard, make sure to stay in your lane. Swerving may put other vehicles in danger and may also cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Remember that deer often travel in groups. If you see one deer that may mean that there are others nearby.
Tips to stay safe during deer season
During this time, deer are on the move for several reasons. It is mating season, hunting season and there are more hikers in the woods. The Kentucky State Police have offered several tips for motorists to help avoid hitting a deer. These include:
- Be extra cautious in the early morning and evening hours. Deer are most active during these low-light periods.
- Drive at a moderate speed, especially on roads surrounded by woods, parklands, golf courses and streams. However, remember that many deer crashes occur on busy highways near cities.
- Use your high beams if there is no oncoming traffic. High beams will reflect in the eyes of deer on or near the roadway. This could give you more time to react to the deer.
- Deer whistles on cars provide a little help and sometimes blowing the car horn will make the deer move.
- Always wear your seat belt.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I want to remind everyone on how important it is to pay attention to the road. Devices like cell phones can be a big distraction. So, we may not have control over when and where a deer may appear, but we can control our cell phones. Please watch your surroundings and avoid distractions like cell phones.