When you think of dangerous animals, you may think of bears, sharks and snakes. However, did you know that deer can be dangerous as well? According to data released by State Farm, Kentucky ranks 13th out of 50 states for the most number of deer crashes. The national average of hitting a deer is one in 169, but in Kentucky, it’s one out of 107. Also, the annual average cost per claim has increased from $3,414 in 2013 to $3,888 in 2014.
Related: Kentucky Driving: Watch Out for Deer On the Loose!
When does deer season peak in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, October, November and December are considered peak months for deer activity. So, you might see a deer near Kentucky roads. It’s important to beware of deer, because once you see one, chances are there are others that will follow. If you’re from an area known for a large deer population, pay extra attention because a deer could leap out in front of your car at any time. You want to especially pay attention if you drive on roads surrounded by woods or trees. According to the Kentucky State Police, from 2008-2012, the Ohio River in the north, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, Franklin, Hardin and Boyd Counties had an average of 71 deer-related crashes per year. Boone County had the highest number of accidents at an average of 152 collisions.
What should you do if you see a deer crossing the road?
According to Car-Accidents.com, over 1.5 million crashes involving deer take place each year. This causes more than $1 billion in damage and leaves more than 10,000 people injured. As much as you want to save the deer, leaving the road or swerving to avoid the deer isn’t a great solution. Chances are you might only hit a tree or collide with oncoming traffic. So, what can you do if you hit a deer? Director of Driver and Vehicle Services with the Department of Public Safety, Kathy Swanson, suggests to gentle apply the brakes, hold onto the steering wheel and bring the vehicle to a controlled stop.
Also, be extra careful when you’re driving at night because deer a nocturnal animals. From sunset to midnight there’s a higher risk of deer-vehicle collisions. Again, if you see one deer crossing the road, slow down because there could be other deer wanting to cross the road, too. It's important to take deer crossing signs seriously. Also, reduce your speed and make sure that you’re properly wearing your seat belt.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I recommend that you always keep an eye out for deer. While they are more active at night, I have definitely seen them out during the day. They could leap out from behind trees or tall grass at any moment. Please be aware of your surroundings and if you see a deer on the side of the road, proceed through slowly. That way, if they run in front of your car, you will hopefully be about to stop. Also, try to know if and where other cars are on the road. No one wants to hit a deer, but you also don’t want to be in a car accident because of a deer.