TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas Highway Patrol is warning motorists to be aware of an increase in deer-related crashes in Kansas.
KSNT spoke with KHP Trooper Ben Gardner who recently put out a warning on his Twitter account about this uptick in deer crashes. He said four deer-related crashes occurred from March 27-28. One accident resulted in three people being injured when a deer went through the windshield of their car in Saline County.
Gardner said the increase in these accidents might be due to several reasons. One is deer are on the move at this time of year. March and April typically see a higher number of car-deer crashes similar to that seen during October and November. Second, farmers are more active at this time as they begin to plant their fields, possibly putting deer on the alert as this could disturb where they are sleeping.
Third, Gardner speculated deer may be more active at this time due to the proximity of their birthing season later in the spring. Another point he made was daylight saving time may have something to do with the recent rise in crashes. Motorists are moving around at the same time that deer are most active: sunrise and sunset.
“Deer are most active at sunrise and sunset,” Gardner said. “That’s when we see the most activeness of deer. The general public is active during that time too, as people are going to school and work. This creates a conflict point between humans and deer during the day.”
Gardner said there are several things you can do to reduce the chances of hitting a deer or suffering serious injury during a crash.
“The first thing is to be aware,” Gardner said. “If you see an area in your travels that typically has deer, be concerned in those areas at this time of the year just as you might be during October and November.”
Furthermore, he said deer sometimes travel together. Motorists who see one deer should stay alert, because more deer may be close behind the first.
“If you see one deer, you better start looking for a second or third deer,” Gardner said.
Lastly, Gardner said motorists shouldn’t swerve if they see a deer in the road. Swerving often leads to a more serious crash. If a deer is in the road, Gardner said you should hit it. Seatbelts and airbags are there to protect the passengers, and insurance is available to help repair the damage afterwards.