Increased reports of vehicles vs. deer

Published 8:26 am Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Why are the deer trying to cross the road? Perhaps because its their mating season, or maybe they are running from hunters. Either way, it’s the time of year when many deer are on the move and are being struck by vehicles.

According to the Danville police blotter, at least 10 people reported hitting a deer between Wednesday and Saturday, Nov. 1-4, last week. That’s more deer collisions for Boyle County than in all of 2016, according to data from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Usually, these accidents occurred at daybreak, dusk or overnight.

On Wednesday, two deer were struck on Ky. 33 and U.S. 68. Tuesday morning, two deer were struck within 40 minutes of each other on U.S. 127, and another one that evening was hit on Lebanon Road. Friday evening, three deer were hit on Enterprise Drive, Harrodsburg Road and Lebanon Road near the bypass. And early Saturday morning, another deer was struck on the bypass near Lebanon Road and one was hit on Old Stanford Road. 

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Sunday, a headless deer was found in the middle of Webster Road, which caused a traffic hazard.

Danville Police Chief Tony Gray said there is an abundance of deer in this area. Over the years, deer have even been spotted near downtown.

Most of the deer are being hit along the bypass and Perryville Road, Gray said. That’s where the combination of speeding cars and countryside can be lethal to the moving deer.

It’s that time of year, Gray said, that drivers need to slow down and be more cautious.

Boyle County Sheriff Derek Robbins said this is rutting season for deer and they are very actively searching for mates. This is when deer vs. vehicle accidents really spike, he said.

Robbins said if you see one deer cross the road in front of you, there are probably more on the way. “They run together,” he said.

He said if a driver sees a deer, he or she should slow down and break in a straight line. “Nobody wants to hit a deer,” he said, but more injuries happen when a driver tries an evasive move, then overcorrects and hits a tree or swerves off the road.

Robbins said there are devices that are supposed to alert the deer when a vehicle is coming. He laughed and said he wasn’t sure if they really work “because the deer haven’t had a class on that.”

As for deer crossing signs, Robbins said they are posted where the highest percentage of deer have been spotted crossing the road in that area. It’s not where the deer are supposed to cross.

Robbins said one time a driver who had just struck a deer said, “But there was a deer crossing sign right up the road!”

People just need to use common sense, Robbins said.

Deer wrecks in 2016

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the following numbers of wrecks involving a collision with a deer occurred in area counties last year:

Boyle: 9

Casey: 6

Garrard: 10

Lincoln: 19

Mercer: 13