Deer / Auto Collisions in Kentucky

Images of Deer in FieldBelieve it or not, when it comes to our worst enemy in the animal kingdom, sharks, alligators, snakes and other commonly feared animals need not apply. In fact, none of the "terrifying" animals portrayed as " killers" in our culture are responsible for the most human deaths.

The animals that claim the largest number of lives in the United States are deer. "The Insurance Information Institute estimates that there are more than 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in 150 occupant deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and over $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. An additional billion dollars is spent on medical payments for injuries to people in the car and out-of-pocket expenses paid by vehicle owners, bringing the total cost to approximately $4.6 billion. The average claim for deer-vehicle collisions is $3,000, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of the damage." (quoted from (http://www.iii.org/press_releases/warning-to-motorists-fall-is-peak-season-for-deer-vehicle-collisions.html)

While the percentage of deer collisions resulting in a fatality is relatively low in Kentucky as compared to the nation, it is extremely important to recognize this ever-present risk. October, November, and December months see a huge increase in deer activity because of the run of mating season. Nearly 47% of all collisions with deer annually take place during this three-month period. November is by far the month of highest deer / auto collision incidence.

Deer / Auto collisions also follow a pattern over a 24 hour period. The highest likelihood for a collision with deer is during the peak hours in the evening between 5 PM and 8 PM, and in the morning between 5 AM and 8 M. 53% of all collisions happened in that timeframe for past five years.

On this page, you can view the following information:

Annual Deer / Auto Collisions

Updated 03/26/15

Year Number of Deer Collisions Fatalities Injured
2010 3,118 4 169
2011 2,976 3 146
2012 2,798 0 140
2013 2,985 0 137
2014 3,108 3 115
Annual Deer / Auto Collisions Chart Annual Deer / Auto Collisions Chart

(Source: KSP CRASH)

Deer / Auto Collisions by Month

Updated 03/26/15

October, November, and December months see a huge increase in deer activity because of the run of mating season. Nearly 47% of all collisions with deer annually take place during this three-month period. The following shows an average number of collisions in the Commonwealth per month over the past five-year period. November is by far the month of highest deer / auto collision incidence.

Month 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Total Average
January 175 199 204 189 213 980 196
February 170 198 164 139 192 863 173
March 194 195 182 179 210 960 192
April 171 168 166 171 168 844 169
May 197 234 187 196 202 1,016 203
June 209 230 201 214 208 1,062 212
July 153 136 136 134 177 736 147
August 111 120 114 108 126 579 116
September 177 152 127 177 153 786 157
October 461 350 380 374 420 1,985 397
November 812 697 679 806 706 3,700 740
December 288 297 258 298 333 1,474 295
Chart of Collisions with Deer 2010-2014 Chart of Collisions with Deer 2010-2014

High Detail Kentucky Deer Collision Map

Updated 03/26/15

This map shows concentrations of reported deer collisions over a five-year period in the month of November.

Map of High Detail Kentucky Deer Collision Map
Click here or on the image thumbnail
for a high resolution deer collision
map in Adobe pdf format.

Deer Collisions by County - Total Percentage

The map below shows an average number of deer / auto collisions for each county over the past five years.

Deer Collisions by County Map
Check here to see a larger map (File size 2.17 MB, print size 34X22 inches, Adobe Acrobat Reader is Required)

County Five Year Total Annual Average
ADAIR 69 14
ALLEN 177 35
ANDERSON 133 27
BALLARD 48 10
BARREN 255 51
BATH 19 4
BELL 48 10
BOONE 740 148
BOURBON 54 11
BOYD 432 86
BOYLE 53 11
BRACKEN 64 13
BREATHITT 37 7
BRECKINRIDGE 56 11
BULLITT 97 19
BUTLER 83 17
CALDWELL 105 21
CALLOWAY 164 33
CAMPBELL 486 97
CARLISLE 26 5
CARROLL 182 36
CARTER 112 22
CASEY 43 9
CHRISTIAN 431 86
CLARK 43 9
CLAY 65 13
CLINTON 55 11
CRITTENDEN 42 8
CUMBERLAND 26 5
DAVIESS 365 73
EDMONSON 51 10
ELLIOTT 12 2
ESTILL 25 5
FAYETTE 121 24
FLEMING 48 10
FLOYD 148 30
FRANKLIN 366 73
FULTON 26 5
GALLATIN 41 8
GARRARD 20 4
GRANT 209 42
GRAVES 251 50
GRAYSON 164 33
GREEN 63 13
GREENUP 91 18
HANCOCK 67 13
HARDIN 479 96
HARLAN 59 12
HARRISON 131 26
HART 121 24
HENDERSON 410 82
HENRY 178 36
HICKMAN 12 2
HOPKINS 612 122
JACKSON 30 6
JEFFERSON 516 103
JESSAMINE 58 12
JOHNSON 57 11
KENTON 389 78
KNOTT 49 10
KNOX 69 14
LARUE 51 10
LAUREL 103 21
LAWRENCE 55 11
LEE 4 1
LESLIE 6 2
LETCHER 22 4
LEWIS 39 8
LINCOLN 75 15
LIVINGSTON 76 15
LOGAN 114 23
LYON 155 31
MADISON 109 22
MAGOFFIN 50 10
MARION 44 9
MARSHALL 195 39
MARTIN 7 1
MASON 153 31
MCCRACKEN 59 12
MCCREARY 55 11
MCLEAN 94 19
MEADE 88 18
MENIFEE 8 2
MERCER 64 13
METCALFE 94 19
MONROE 3 1
MONTGOMERY 75 15
MORGAN 64 13
MUHLENBERG 341 68
NELSON 189 38
NICHOLAS 38 8
OHIO 124 25
OLDHAM 200 40
OWEN 101 20
OWSLEY 11 2
PENDLETON 118 24
PERRY 43 9
PIKE 145 29
POWELL 39 8
PULASKI 287 57
ROBERTSON 7 1
ROCKCASTLE 100 20
ROWAN 200 40
RUSSELL 25 5
SCOTT 165 33
SHELBY 258 52
SIMPSON 78 16
SPENCER 84 17
TAYLOR 189 38
TODD 104 21
TRIGG 109 22
TRIMBLE 89 18
UNION 110 22
WARREN 252 50
WASHINGTON 102 20
WAYNE 13 3
WEBSTER 127 25
WHITLEY 75 15
WOLFE 43 9
WOODFORD 100 20

(Source: KSP CRASH)

Deer / Auto Collisions by Time of the Day for November

An image of the Deer/Auto Collisions for the month of November 2010-2014 An image of the Deer/Auto Collisions for the month of November 2010-2014
Time of Day 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Average Percent of Total
12:00 AM - 00:59AM 30 22 22 24 28 25.2 3.41%
1:00 AM - 1:59AM 26 20 16 23 20 21 2.84%
2:00 AM - 2:59 AM 25 11 8 21 19 16.8 2.27%
3:00 AM - 3:59 AM 17 10 8 12 16 12.6 1.70%
4:00 AM - 4:59 AM 22 19 15 13 16 17 2.30%
5:00 AM - 5:59 AM 30 29 32 33 22 29.2 3.95%
6:00 AM - 6:59 AM 54 53 49 55 45 51.2 6.92%
7:00 AM - 7:59 AM 49 44 39 42 34 41.6 5.62%
8:00 AM - 8:59 AM 27 13 16 17 15 17.6 2.38%
9:00 AM - 9:59 AM 13 10 14 14 16 13.4 1.81%
10:00 AM - 10:59 AM 14 12 6 7 7 9.2 1.24%
11:00 AM - 11:59 AM 8 5 4 10 6 6.6 0.89%
12:00 PM - 12:59 PM 10 4 7 6 4 6.2 0.84%
1:00 PM - 1:59 PM 7 2 3 9 3 4.8 0.65%
2:00 PM - 2:59 PM 5 7 2 8 10 6.4 0.86%
3:00 PM - 3:59 PM 4 5 6 4 5 4.8 0.65%
4:00 PM - 4:59 PM 18 23 11 18 19 17.8 2.41%
5:00 PM - 5:59 PM 72 68 72 91 93 79.2 10.70%
6:00 PM - 6:59 PM 136 103 97 126 98 112 15.14%
7:00 PM - 7:59 PM 60 70 73 95 66 72.8 9.84%
8:00 PM - 8:59 PM 67 51 43 53 49 52.6 7.11%
9:00 PM - 9:59 PM 57 42 58 59 46 52.4 7.08%
10:00 PM - 10:59 PM 39 30 41 38 39 37.4 5.05%
11:00 PM - 11:59 PM 22 44 37 28 30 32.2 4.35%

(Source: KSP CRASH)

Defensive Driving Tips to avoid hitting a deer

  • Keep a close watch for deer in the early morning and evening hours. Deer are most active during these times.
  • Be especially alert and drive with caution when you are moving through a known deer crossing zone.
  • Use your high-beam headlights whenever possible.
  • Upon seeing a deer, immediately slow down. Do not swerve - because this can confuse deer as to where to run.  It could also cause you to lose control and hit a tree or another car.
  • Look for other deer after one has crossed the road. Deer are often found in herding packs.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.  Most people injured and/or killed in deer - automobile collisions were not wearing their seat belt.

What to do when you Strike a Deer

If you are unable to avoid a collision with a deer, take the following steps:

  • Do not touch the animal! The deer, in attempting to move or get away, could hurt you or itself.
  • Remove your automobile from the roadway, if possible.
  • Call the police.