JEFFERSON COUNTY (KSNT) – If you have been in a collision with a deer in the last couple of years you are part of a growing trend.

According to State Farm Insurance, U.S. Drivers had $2.1 million animal collision claims between July 2020 and June 2021, that number was up 7.2% from the previous year. Deer breeding season peaks in mid-November, that’s the part of the year drivers have the most collisions.

During mating season deer tend to travel more, pay less attention to hazards and move to new habitats after the leaves fall.

According to State Farm, “Shorter fall days mean that dusk and dawn occur when commuter traffic is heaviest, and at the same time, deer are more likely to be on the move. Deer-vehicle crashes occur in all Kansas counties, but in most cases, counties with high human populations and high traffic volumes record the most crashes.”

Tips to avoid deer collisions:

  • Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are most active.
  • Watch for more than one deer, as they seldom travel alone.
  • Reduce speed and be alert near wooded areas or green spaces such as parks or golf courses, and near water such as streams or ponds.
  • Deer crossing signs indicate where high levels of deer/vehicle crashes have occurred in the past.
  • Use your bright lights to help you detect deer as far ahead as possible.
  • Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer – the most serious crashes sometimes occur when drivers swerve and collide with another vehicle, or run off the road and hit an obstacle.
  • Always, wear a seat belt and use child safety seats for the kids. Even if you are waiting in your car, it is best to wear your seat belt, and have your children in car seats.

If you do hit a deer or come across a deer carcass, you will need a salvage tag to remove the carcass from the crash site. Tags can be issued by the Kansas Highway Patrol, sheriff’s deputies, Kansas Wildlife and Parks game wardens and your local police departments.