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6 reminders to avoid hitting deer this fall

Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 8:02 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - November 13 is the peak day for crashes involving deer and vehicles. Hitting a deer can be more serious than damage to your car. It can actually be deadly.

In 2019, Kansas had more than 11,000 crashes involving deer. That’s the most out of the last 10 years. Of those 11,000 crashes, 558 caused injuries and eight people died. Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas says over the past three years, the average claim for a crash involving deer was $4,500.

Here are tips from AAA Kansas to avoid hitting a deer on the road:

  1. Scan the sides of the road. Most crashes are caused by deer running into the road in front of the driver. Watch the ditches and tree lines for deer.
  2. Slow down in wooded areas. In rural, wooded areas, it’s more likely you’ll see a deer. Slow down and watch out.
  3. Pay attention to deer crossing signs. Signs are placed in areas with high numbers of reported incidents with deer. Although signs indicate stretches of road with crashes in the past, crashes could happen anywhere.
  4. Where there’s one, there’s two. Or three or four. Deer travel in herds. If you see one deer, yield for more.
  5. Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer. “If you’re going to hit it, just go ahead and hit it. Don’t swerve, because a lot of the times if you swerve, you end up in a ditch you could create a lot more injury for yourself that way or you may veer into oncoming traffic on a two-lane highway,” Steward says.
  6. If you hit a deer, call 911 or Kansas Highway Patrol. To avoid subsequent crashes, pull over to the shoulder if you can. Stay out of the road and call for help.

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