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News Item #1453
[Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Motorists advised to watching for roving deer
Posted: 7-Oct-2009 7:21PM CDT

From the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Department of Highways District 2 on Oct. 6, 2009:

Motorists advised to watch for roving deer
Mating season puts deer on the move October to January
MADISONVILLE, Ky. — Deer are dangerous this time of year: It’s the beginning of mating season — and the nimble creatures are on the move, often putting themselves in the path of motorists.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is reminding motorists of the October to January mating season, when deer-related crashes spike.
Last year, there were 2,926 deer-related crashes reported in Kentucky, resulting in two fatalities and 178 injuries.
“Each year about 150 people are killed nationally in motor vehicle collisions with deer,” said Kevin McClearn, chief engineer in the District 2 highway office in Madisonville. “While collisions with deer happen year-round, about half are reported during the final three months of the year.
“We want to remind everyone to drive carefully, especially during October, November and December,” McClearn said. “Be on the lookout for deer, especially when visibility is diminished and deer are more active around dawn and dusk.”
Multiple factors contribute to deer-related crashes this time of year:
· Mating season puts deer on the move.
· Crop harvest reduces food supply and hiding places.
· More hunters and hikers are in the woods.
· Deer tend to move at dawn and dusk when visibility is low.
Consider these tips:
· Always wear a seatbelt.
· Drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside.
· If you spot a deer on the edge of the road, blow your horn. Use a long steady blast to get the deer’s attention.
· If a deer freezes in your headlights, flick the beams on and off to break the deer’s concentration. That may cause the deer to move.
· Slow down immediately. Proceed slowly until you are past the point where the deer have crossed.
· Don’t swerve. Stay in your lane. Swerving can result in a more serious crash.
· In the event of a crash, keep both hands on the wheel and brake down steadily.
· Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor.
McClearn noted that while deer tend to cross highways along regular trails most of the year, they can show up in commercial and residential areas during mating season. In some counties, state highway crews remove 50 deer carcasses a week from mid-October until the mating season trails off around the first of the year.
Of the top 20 Kentucky counties for reported deer collisions, 7 are in Western Kentucky. They include Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Daviess, Marshall, Henderson, Graves and Christian. Muhlenberg had the most with 64. Many collisions with deer go unreported to police.
Kentucky Department of Highways District 2 is responsible for approximately 3,300 miles of state highways in Caldwell, Webster, Union, Henderson McLean, Hopkins, Christian, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Daviess, and Hancock counties.
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Comment posted by Michael from Paducah on 22-Oct-2009 10:05AM CDT
Deer have been noted to run across roads, only to dart back across the road much as a squirrel would. Caution is advised to observe for multiple deer crossing one after another, as their nature is to travel in herds and during rut often buck will be chasing doe across road paying no attention to traffic.
Updated: 22-Oct-2009 10:05AM CDT

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