Deer / Auto Collisions in Kentucky
Believe it or not, when it comes to our worst enemy in the animal kingdom, sharks, alligators, snakes and other commonly feared animals need not apply. In fact, none of the "terrifying" animals portrayed as " killers" in our culture are responsible for the most human deaths.
The animals that claim the largest number of lives in the United States are deer. "The Insurance Information Institute estimates that there are more than 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in 150 occupant deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and more than $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. An additional billion dollars is spent on medical payments for injuries to people in the car and out-of-pocket expenses paid by vehicle owners, bringing the total cost to approximately $4.6 billion. The average claim for deer-vehicle collisions is $3,000, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of the damage." (quoted from (http://www.iii.org/press_releases/warning-to-motorists-fall-is-peak-season-for-deer-vehicle-collisions.html)
While the percentage of deer collisions resulting in a fatality is relatively low in Kentucky as compared to the nation, it is extremely important to recognize this ever-present risk. October, November and December see a huge increase in deer activity because of the run of mating season. Nearly 47% of all collisions with deer annually take place during this three-month period. November is by far the month of highest deer / auto collision incidence.
Deer / auto collisions also follow a pattern during a 24 hour period. The highest likelihood for a collision with deer is during the peak hours in the evening between 5 PM and 8 PM, and in the morning between 5 AM and 8 M. 53% of all collisions happened in that timeframe for the past five years.
On this page, you can view the following information:
Annual Deer / Auto Collisions
(Source: KSP CRASH)
Deer / Auto Collisions by Month
October, November, and December months see a huge increase in deer activity because of the run of mating season. Nearly 47% of all collisions with deer annually take place during this three-month period. The following shows an average number of collisions in the Commonwealth per month over the past five-year period. November is by far the month of highest deer / auto collision incidence.
High Detail Kentucky Deer Collision Map
This map shows concentrations of reported deer collisions over a five-year period in the month of November.
Click here or on the image thumbnail
for a high resolution deer collision
map in Adobe pdf format.
Deer Collisions by County - Total Percentage
The map below shows an average number of deer / auto collisions for each county over the past five years.
(Source: KSP CRASH)
Deer / Auto Collisions by Time of the Day for November
(Source: KSP CRASH)
Defensive Driving Tips to avoid hitting a deer
- Keep a close watch for deer in the early morning and evening hours. Deer are most active during these times.
- Be especially alert and drive with caution when you are moving through a known deer crossing zone.
- Use your high-beam headlights whenever possible.
- Upon seeing a deer, immediately slow down. Do not swerve - because this can confuse deer as to where to run. It could also cause you to lose control and hit a tree or another car.
- Look for other deer after one has crossed the road. Deer are often found in herding packs.
- Always wear your seatbelt. Most people injured and/or killed in deer - automobile collisions were not wearing their seat belt.
What to do when you Strike a Deer
If you are unable to avoid a collision with a deer, take the following steps:
- Do not touch the animal! The deer, in attempting to move or get away, could hurt you or itself.
- Remove your automobile from the roadway, if possible.
- Call the police.