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Posted on: October 16, 2018

It's the season for deer-car crashes

Deer jumping into roadway in front of car. Courtesy the Kansas Highway Patrol

The most car-deer crashes in Louisburg occur near the west city limits near K-68/US 69 and on Metcalf between Amity and N. 6th Street, according to local police, and according to KDOT, 10,226 (17 percent) of the 58,834 vehicle crashes reported in 2017 were deer-related (crashes in which a deer and vehicle actually collided or the presence of a deer was a contributing circumstance). Crashes involving deer occur in every part of the state throughout the year.

“If you are unfortunate enough to have a deer enter the highway in front of your car, it is best to hit the animal and not swerve to avoid it,” said the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Lt. Adam Winters. “Often, we find more serious crashes occur when you swerve to miss the deer, potentially losing control of your vehicle, leaving the road or veering into oncoming traffic.”

The KHP recommends the following to help motorists avoid crashes with deer:
• Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk, when deer are more active.
• If you see one deer, watch for others, as they seldom travel alone.
• Reduce speed and be alert 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 crashes have occurred in the past.
• Use bright lights when there is no oncoming traffic and scan the road ahead of you to watch for deer.
• Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer—the most serious crashes sometimes occur when motorists
swerve and collide with another vehicle or run off the road and hit an obstacle.
• Always wear a seat belt and use the appropriately-fitted child safety seats—they are your best defense should you be involved in a crash.
• Honk your horn with one long blast. A long blast on your horn may frighten large animals, such as deer, away from your vehicle. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) advises against relying on devices such as deer whistles and reflectors, which have not been proven to reduce collisions with animals.

If you do strike a deer, here are some additional tips:

• Slow down, move your vehicle to the shoulder if possible, and call for law enforcement. KHP dispatch can be reached at *47, Kansas Turnpike at *KTA, and local law enforcement at 911. Make sure you tell the dispatcher if the animal or your vehicle is still in the road.
• If you hit a deer or other animal, do not worry about removing the animal. Law enforcement can remove the animal from the road when they arrive. Don’t go near a wounded animal. A frightened and wounded animal can be unpredictable.
• Turn on your hazard lights and remain buckled up inside your vehicle. You are more protected this way, should a secondary crash occur.
• If you must be outside your vehicle, make sure it is as far off the road as possible, and do not stand between your vehicle and another one. Keep children buckled, and in car seats in the vehicle. Be vigilant and watch traffic.


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