The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issued a motorist alert Tuesday for the start of fall deer-vehicle collision season.
In a recent ranking, Kentucky was 15th in the nation for collisions involving deer.
The movement of deer along Kentucky highways takes a noticeable upturn starting in early-October, the release states. Shorter days and cooler evenings serve to kick off the fall deer mating season. Increased field activity by farmers as they harvest crops may also contribute to putting deer on the move and make them more likely to come into the path of passing vehicles.
“The increased herd activity brings an uptick in the number of deer killed along area highways as we head into October,” said KYTC District 2 Chief Engineer Deneatra Henderson. “We’re urging everyone to use extra caution on the road.”
In 2018, 3,086 deer-vehicle collisions were reported across the Commonwealth, a slight drop from the more than 3,200 reported to police agencies in 2017.
“October, November, and December account for more than half of all reported deer-vehicle collisions,” said Henderson. “We’re taking time to alert drivers to drive carefully, particularly during twilight hours when deer are more likely to be on the move and visibility is poorest.”
In Highway Districts 1 and 2, eight counties have consistently ranked in the top 20 for reported deer-vehicle collisions. That number expands to 12 if the top 40 counties are considered.
In KYTC District 2, Christian, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Henderson, Union, Daviess, Ohio, and Webster counties were in the top 40 for reported deer collisions for 2018, according to the release.
The position of many of those counties is attributed to a substantial deer population combined with a high number of four-lane, interstate and parkway miles.
Motorists are asked to report all deer-vehicle collisions to police so locations and crash numbers can be recorded and monitored. Traffic engineers use the crash data to aid in the placement of deer warning signs and other safety measures.