Did you know that Kansas is ranked 19th in the United States for deer accidents each year? The possibility of colliding with a deer on our roadways will happen to 1 in 87 drivers. Most collisions in Kansas happen during the months of October, November, and December, but because of ever rising deer populations in Kansas, collisions are occurring more often throughout the entire year. Animals are unpredictable and accidents often happen before you can avoid them. Here are some bits of advice for doing your diligence to avoid an accident with a deer, and what to do if it does happen from our friends at the Kansas Highway Patrol.
To avoid incurring costly vehicle repairs, or worse, state experts offer these helpful safety tips:
- Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are more active.
- If you see one deer, expect others, as deer seldom travel alone.
- Be extra vigilant and reduce vehicle speeds near wooded areas or green spaces, such as parks and golf courses, and near water sources such as streams and ponds.
- Deer crossing signs show areas where high numbers of vehicle-deer collisions have occurred in the past; be extra cautious in these areas.
- Do not swerve to avoid hitting a deer. The most serious crashes can occur when motorists veer into oncoming traffic and collide with another vehicle; or run off the road, hit objects, or overturn.
- Always wear a seatbelt and use appropriate child safety seats, as these are the best defenses in any collision.
- Use bright headlights when there is no oncoming traffic and scan the roadways ahead for the reflective eyes of deer.
- If a collision occurs, move your vehicle to the shoulder of the roadway, if possible, and call law enforcement - KHP dispatch at *47, the Kansas Turnpike at *KTA or local law enforcement at 911.
- Remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened. If a secondary collision would occur, motorists are better protected when inside their vehicles and properly restrained.
To be added to the "Deer Call List" to harvest a deceased deer after a collision occurring within Coffey County, contact the Coffey County Sheriff's Office at 620-364-2123 or complete the form online at: https://www.coffeycountysheriff.org/deercalllist