Department of Highways, District 11
Deer Become Roadway Hazards In Fall Months
With fall comes the advent of deer mating season. The activity regarding the annual “rut,” combined with pressures from deer hunters in the woods, means an increase in deer movement along the highways of the 8 counties that make up District 11 of the Department of Highways.
“Most people don’t realize that about 100 Americans are killed each year in traffic crashes caused by deer,” said Chief District Engineer Greene Keith. “The average deer/vehicle collision causes about $2,000 in damage.”
Motorists should use caution in areas that are known deer habitats. The Transportation Cabinet has marked many known deer activity areas with “Deer Crossing” warning signs, but unfortunately deer can’t read these signs and thus know where they should cross the road. Therefore, motorists should use care when driving in any wooded areas or in other locations known for deer activity, such as along stream valleys and near fields. The terrain of the region is well suited for deer and the population has increased in recent years. Deer are now being seen in areas where they previously were scarce.
“While the number of fatalities caused by deer is relatively low in Kentucky as compared to the nation, nearly 50 percent of all collisions with deer occur during October, November and December,” Keith said. That’s why we’re taking the time to remind everyone to be alert for deer, crossing area highways.” Highway accidents involving deer usually increase around mid-October, peaking around the second week of November and decrease after December 15th.
One of the more unpleasant duties that Transportation Cabinet employees have is to remove dead deer from the highways. If you spot a dead deer in the traveled portion of the roadway where it creates a traffic hazard, please notify your local state highway garage of the location. Motorists should also use caution in areas where Department of Highways personnel are conducting this unpleasant but necessary activity.
Remember, if you slow down and keep an eye out for deer during this most active time of the year, for them, your chances for avoiding a collision are better. Both you and the deer can appreciate that!
District 11 consists of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie and Whitley counties.