Deer / Auto Collisions in Kentucky

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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 03/25/14

Year Number of Deer Collisions Fatalities Injured
2009 3,070 1 176
2010 3,118 4 169
2011 2,976 3 146
2012 2,798 0 140
2013 2,985 0 137

(Source: KSP CRASH)

Chart of Collisions with Deer 2009-2013

Deer / Auto Collisions by Month

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 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total Average
January 950 190
February 817 163
March 909 182
April 855 171
May 1,020 204
June 1,082 216
July 689 138
August 567 113
September 773 155
October 1,939 388
November 3,934 787
December 1,412 282

Chart of Collisions with Deer 2008-2012

High Detail Kentucky Deer Collision Map

Updated 03/25/14

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 215 43
ANDERSON 133 27
BALLARD 48 10
BARREN 246 49
BATH 24 5
BELL 50 10
BOONE 768 154
BOURBON 60 12
BOYD 421 84
BOYLE 61 12
BRACKEN 56 11
BREATHITT 29 6
BRECKINRIDGE 54 11
BULLITT 91 18
BUTLER 62 12
CALDWELL 106 21
CALLOWAY 159 32
CAMPBELL 513 103
CARLISLE 25 5
CARROLL 171 34
CARTER 103 21
CASEY 42 8
CHRISTIAN 410 82
CLARK 46 9
CLAY 63 13
CLINTON 50 10
CRITTENDEN 41 8
CUMBERLAND 19 4
DAVIESS 334 67
EDMONSON 53 11
ELLIOTT 19 4
ESTILL 27 5
FAYETTE 136 27
FLEMING 48 10
FLOYD 140 28
FRANKLIN 364 73
FULTON 30 6
GALLATIN 46 9
GARRARD 21 4
GRANT 221 44
GRAVES 234 47
GRAYSON 160 32
GREEN 54 11
GREENUP 98 20
HANCOCK 71 14
HARDIN 474 95
HARLAN 55 11
HARRISON 138 28
HART 120 24
HENDERSON 396 79
HENRY 157 31
HICKMAN 12 2
HOPKINS 582 116
JACKSON 29 6
JEFFERSON 500 100
JESSAMINE 44 9
JOHNSON 73 15
KENTON 397 79
KNOTT 60 12
KNOX 79 16
LARUE 51 10
LAUREL 97 19
LAWRENCE 62 12
LEE 3 1
LESLIE 8 2
LETCHER 22 4
LEWIS 41 8
LINCOLN 79 16
LIVINGSTON 91 18
LOGAN 118 24
LYON 123 25
MADISON 115 23
MAGOFFIN 50 10
MARION 41 8
MARSHALL 215 43
MARTIN 11 2
MASON 180 36
MCCRACKEN 82 16
MCCREARY 61 12
MCLEAN 102 20
MEADE 100 20
MENIFEE 13 3
MERCER 61 12
METCALFE 90 18
MONROE 0 0
MONTGOMERY 71 14
MORGAN 64 13
MUHLENBERG 310 62
NELSON 203 41
NICHOLAS 37 7
OHIO 116 23
OLDHAM 190 38
OWEN 105 21
OWSLEY 10 2
PENDLETON 130 26
PERRY 45 9
PIKE 142 28
POWELL 40 8
PULASKI 295 59
ROBERTSON 3 1
ROCKCASTLE 98 20
ROWAN 187 37
RUSSELL 28 6
SCOTT 191 38
SHELBY 267 53
SIMPSON 71 14
SPENCER 75 15
TAYLOR 191 38
TODD 112 22
TRIGG 104 21
TRIMBLE 85 17
UNION 96 19
WARREN 240 48
WASHINGTON 81 16
WAYNE 9 2
WEBSTER 113 23
WHITLEY 72 14
WOLFE 46 9
WOODFORD 92 18

(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 2008-2012

Time of Day 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Average Percent of Total
12:00 AM - 00:59AM 24 30 22 22 24 23.4 3.10%
1:00 AM - 1:59AM 30 26 20 16 23 23 2.92%
2:00 AM - 2:59 AM 15 25 11 8 21 16 2.03%
3:00 AM - 3:59 AM 24 17 10 8 12 14.2 1.80%
4:00 AM - 4:59 AM 16 22 19 15 13 17 2.16%
5:00 AM - 5:59 AM 41 30 29 32 33 33 4.19%
6:00 AM - 6:59 AM 57 54 53 49 55 53.6 6.81%
7:00 AM - 7:59 AM 49 49 44 39 42 44.6 5.67%
8:00 AM - 8:59 AM 19 27 13 16 17 18.4 2.34%
9:00 AM - 9:59 AM 12 13 10 14 14 12.6 1.60%
10:00 AM - 10:59 AM 17 14 12 6 7 11.2 1.42%
11:00 AM - 11:59 AM 11 8 5 4 10 7.6 0.97%
12:00 PM - 12:59 PM 7 10 4 7 6 6.8 0.86%
1:00 PM - 1:59 PM 5 7 2 3 9 5.4 0.69%
2:00 PM - 2:59 PM 4 5 7 2 8 5.2 0.66%
3:00 PM - 3:59 PM 5 4 5 6 4 4.8 0.61%
4:00 PM - 4:59 PM 10 18 23 11 18 16 2.03%
5:00 PM - 5:59 PM 94 72 68 72 91 79.4 10.09%
6:00 PM - 6:59 PM 167 136 103 97 126 125.8 15.99%
7:00 PM - 7:59 PM 105 60 70 73 95 80.6 10.24%
8:00 PM - 8:59 PM 76 67 51 43 53 58 7.37%
9:00 PM - 9:59 PM 67 57 42 58 59 56.6 7.19%
10:00 PM - 10:59 PM 53 39 30 41 38 40.2 5.11%
11:00 PM - 11:59 PM 31 22 44 37 28 32.4 4.12%

(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.

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