Kansas deer-vehicle collisions peak in November

The Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks are warning motorists to be aware that November is historically the month when the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes occur.

Deer car collisionsAccording to KDWP biologist, Lloyd Fox, the increase in deer-vehicle crashes is strongly influenced by deer mating season (the “rut”), which occurs in the fall and peaks during mid-November. Deer frequently travel more during this season and are less cautious about hazards such as vehicles. Also at this time of year, deer shift their core movement area as crops are harvested and trees and shrubs become bare, making the animals less secure in the areas they used during the summer.

Not only are deer more active during the fall, the shorter days mean they are on the move during peak travel times, which occur in the low-light of dawn and dusk when they are difficult to see.

According to KDOT, there were 9,628 deer-vehicle collisions in 2009. Sedgwick County had the most crashes with 395, followed by Johnson County with 353, and Butler County with 286.

Motorists should observe the following tips to avoid colliding with deer:

  • Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are most active;
  • Deer seldom travel alone. If one crosses a road, there may be others following;
  • Reduce speed and be alert near wooded areas or green spaces such as parks or golf courses, and near water sources such as streams or ponds;
  • Don’t swerve to avoid a collision with a deer. The most serious crashes happen when motorists take evasive action;
  • Heed deer crossing sign warnings;
  • Use bright lights and slow down when deer are spotted.

According to KHP Capt. Art Wilburn, if you hit a deer, pull onto the shoulder, turn on emergency flashers, and, if you must leave your vehicle, watch for traffic. Don’t remove a deer from the roadway unless you are certain it is dead; an injured deer can hurt you. To report a crash on a Kansas highway using a cell phone, press *47 (*HP) for a highway patrol dispatcher or *582 (*KTA) for assistance on the Kansas Turnpike, or dial 911.

If a crash results in personal injury or property damage of $1,000 or more, the driver is required to immediately report it to the nearest law enforcement agency.

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Posted by on Nov 17 2010. Filed under County News, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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