Look out for deer because the fall deer-vehicle collision season has officially begun. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issued a warning to all motorists in Lexington and elsewhere in the state to exercise more caution on highways, especially when driving during twilight hours. According to Car Insurance, Kentucky ranks the 15th in the nation for deer-vehicle collisions. The increased activity of deer in October is driven by multiple factors:
- Shorter days
- Cooler evenings
- Increased field activity by farmers
These three factors combined serve to kick off the fall deer-mating season, which puts deer on the move and makes them more likely to run into traffic and come into the path of a moving motor vehicle. Speak with a Lexington car accident attorney from Roberts Law Office if you collided with a deer on the roadway and are not sure about your options for recovering damages and seeking compensation for your personal injury.
Kentucky Officials Issue Warning About Deer-Vehicle Collision Season
In his warning, Kyle Poat, chief engineer at the Transportation Cabinet office, warned Kentucky motorists that driving during twilight hours in the fall deer-vehicle collision season could be “especially hazardous.” According to the Northern Kentucky Tribute citing Poat, deer tend to be on the move around sunrise and sunset, which is also the time of day when a motorist can easily miss a deer moving among the shadows. The period between October and November accounts for about half of the annual more than 3,000 car accidents involving deer, which is why the KTC is urging drivers to “use extra caution” at this time of the year.
How Common are Deer-Vehicle Crashes in Kentucky?
Colliding with a deer can not only cause damage to your vehicle but also cause a brain or head injury, back injuries, broken bones, and other injuries that could potentially require hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Moreover, deer-vehicle collisions account for an average of three fatalities in Kentucky each year. Deer are blamed for an estimated 200 fatalities across the nation every year. According to State Farm Insurance, a national cost per claim average is $4,341 for crashes involving a deer. In fact, statistics show that Kentucky is a “high risk” state for deer-vehicle collision, where the odds of hitting a deer on the roadway are 1 out of 85.
Safety Tips to Avoid a Deer-Vehicle Accident
While drivers cannot stop deer from running into traffic out of the blue, they can do certain things to improve safety and minimize the risk of deer-vehicle collisions. These tips include:
- Slowing down immediately when you notice a deer crossing the roadway (this will not be problematic even at night because deer tend to travel in groups).
- Avoid swerving to prevent a deer collision, as this can lead to a crash with an oncoming vehicle or fixed roadside object.
- If your vehicle collides with a deer, keep both hands on the wheel and apply brakes until stopped to avoid losing control.
- Report your deer-vehicle collision to the police to help promote safety in the area (these reports are used to place deer crossing warning signs and implement other safety measures).
- Always wear a safety belt, which could potentially save your life in the event of a deer-vehicle crash.
- Turn your headlights and keep them bright unless oncoming vehicles are approaching.
- Do your best to drive defensively at this time of the year.
Consult with a Lexington car accident attorney if you were in a deer-vehicle collision. Get a free consultation by contacting Roberts Law Office to discuss your options for financial recovery. Call at (859) 231-0202.