According to Washington County Sheriff Tommy Bartley, motorists should be aware of deer on the highway.
Bartley said there are instances of cars hitting deer year round, but accidents tend to go up in October through December, which is the deer mating season.
“Deer movement peaks in late October through early December, during the rut, the whitetail’s annual mating season,” according to a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department press release.
“Historically, November is the month with the highest number of deer-vehicle collisions in Kentucky,” said Tina Brunjes, deer program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Drivers should be alert, particularly in areas where brush or trees are close to roadways and when driving on stretches of interstate highways which have forested medians.”
The most-affected area that Bartley has seen, he said, is on U.S. 150 in the East Texas area.
Drivers should be aware of deer, he said, and if you see one crossing the road, it’s likely you’ll see one or two more.
Avoiding a deer isn’t always possible, though, he said. Even he and his deputies have fell victim to hitting a deer.
According to the Fish and Wildlife press release, “motorists who encounter deer should slow down until the deer moves. Never attempt to drive around a deer standing in the road. If the deer is facing away from the traffic flow, flash your head lights from low beam to high beam, and be prepared to stop. Deer usually travel in groups, so expect to see more than one deer crossing the road in single file.”
Another tip is to drive defensively when driving at night through creek bottoms and other heavily-wooded areas.
“Watch for deer standing at the side of the road,” according to the press release. “Scan the roadway ahead carefully, and drive with your head lights on high beam when possible.”
“Over the past eight years, the Kentucky State Police (KSP) have documented an average of 2,985 deer/vehicle collisions annually,” according to the press release.