The Kentucky Transportation Department has issued its annual "Antler Alert!" This time of year marks the peak season for deer vs. vehicle collisions here in the Commonwealth. Look! I live in the western half of the state and there are roads and highways that I take extra precaution on if I have to drive them this time of year- especially at night. The Audubon Parkway between Owensboro and Henderson is full of deer and so is I-165 South between Owensboro and Bowling Green.

Here's a scary stat that I had never considered. Sure, we know that a collision with a deer can wreak havoc on a motor vehicle. But deer collisions are also a threat to human life. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says deer are among the leading causes of animal-related human deaths in the United States. There are roughly 200 deer-related human deaths annually. That stat is alarming. So is the frequency of deer collisions here in Kentucky.

In 2022, there were 3,083 highway collisions between deer and motorists in the Commonwealth. That's the number that were actually reported to authorities. Of those 3,083 accidents, four of them resulted in fatalities and twenty of them involved serious injuries.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, here are the counties that had the most deer collisions in 2022.


Gallery Credit: ASHLEY SOLLARS

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is also sharing some important tips for motorists to keep in mind during the annual "Antler Alert."

  • Slow down immediately upon spotting a deer crossing the roadway; deer tend to travel in groups
  • Don’t swerve to avoid a deer. That can result in a more serious crash with an oncoming vehicle or roadside object.
  • In the event of a crash, keep both hands on the wheel and apply brakes steadily until stopped.
  • Always wear your seat belt!
  • Keep headlights on bright at night unless other vehicles are approaching.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving. In other words, put your phones down!
  • Drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at dawn and dusk, when deer are most active.


LOOK: Here are the states where you are most likely to hit an animal

Hitting an animal while driving is a frightening experience, and this list ranks all 50 states in order of the likelihood of such incidents happening, in addition to providing tips on how to avoid them.

Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn

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