The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has issued an “Antler Alert” as a reminder for motorists to be more alert on the roadway from October through December. Nobody wants a close encounter with the wildlife kind while driving, that's why they're offering up some safety tips.

Young red deer on autumn background.

Have you ever hit a deer or other wildlife while traveling? It's never fun and can be very costly too. This is why it's so important to be more cautious during peak deer season. We are heading into that season now, so the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has released some tips to help keep us safe on the road.

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Shorter days and cooler nights, October through December, bring a noticeable increase in highway collisions involving deer,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. “Drivers should be vigilant at all times, but the autumn presents a special challenge for drivers, with deer and other wildlife increasingly on the move, often at night.”

KYTC offers these driving tips to help improve safety:

• Slow down immediately upon spotting a deer crossing the roadway; they tend to travel in groups.
• Don’t swerve to avoid a deer, which 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 a seat belt.
• Keep headlights on bright unless other vehicles are approaching.
• Eliminate distractions while driving: Phones down!
• Drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are most active.

According to a report released by State Farm, for the year that ended June 30, 2020, State Farm reported more than 1.9 million animal collision claims in the United States, of which 1.5 million involved deer.

Stay safe this season.

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