KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- October marks the beginning of deer mating season and AAA encourages drivers to use caution on the roads to avoid becoming involved in a collision with a deer. Each year nationally, more than one million crashes are caused by deer.
The most recent report from the Kansas Department of Transportation shows that since 2001 vehicle collisions with deer have resulted in 53 fatalities and 6,374 injuries.
Each year Kansas drivers experience 10,000 vehicle deer collisions. Additionally, in more than a dozen rural Kansas counties deer crashes account for 5 to 7 out of every 10 motor vehicle crashes.
“It is essential that drivers stay focused and alert especially when driving in densely populated deer areas,” said AAA EVP, Jim Hanni. “The highest risk times are from sunset to midnight, followed by - shortly before and after sunrise”.
AAA offers these tips to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a vehicle-deer crash:
- Scan the road and shoulders ahead of you. Looking ahead helps provide enough reaction time if a deer is spotted. Also, remember deer often move in groups, so when there is one deer, there are usually more in the area.
- Use high beam headlights if there’s no oncoming traffic. Deer may be spotted sooner when using high beams—allowing time to slow down, move over or beep to scare the deer away.
- If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane. Swerving to avoid a deer can often cause a more serious crash or result in drivers losing control of vehicles.
- Be extra cautious at dawn and dusk. Drivers should exercise extra caution early in the morning and at dusk because deer tend to be more active at these times.
- Drivers should always wear a seat belt and remain awake, alert, and sober.