Deer are fall traffic hazard
Drivers should take special care to watch for deer on the roadway during fall, especially from dusk until morning.
Kansas Highway Patrol recorded 125 deer-related accidents in Marion County last year, three of which caused injury to occupants of the car.
Deer actively seek more secure habitat during the fall, but the bigger issue for drivers is deer running across roads during mating season, which peaks in mid-November.
“Any time you have a creek bank and a wooded area that borders the highway, it’s a high traffic area for deer,” Sheriff Rob Craft said. “We’ve got core areas where it’s year after year after year, but deer accidents happen elsewhere as well, and not necessarily where you would expect.”
Craft said drivers should be especially alert when driving at night with dim headlights.
“If you do see a deer in the roadway, I would recommend you apply the brakes, try to stop as best you can, and try to keep a straight line, but don’t swerve because that’s when you can go into the ditch,” Craft said.
KHP also advises that if a deer runs onto the road in front of a car and the driver cannot stop, it’s better to hit the deer than swerve.
“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,” KHP Lt. Adam Winters said.