TOPEKA (KSNT)- State law enforcement urge motorists to be extra cautious of deer as you’re driving.

It is peak rutting, or mating, season for deer. The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) say deer movement increases at an exponential rate this time of year. KDOT, the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) , the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) , AAA Kansas and the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) are joining forces to raise awareness and help decrease vehicle-deer crashes, according to a press release from KDOT.

A viewer sent 27 News a video of a collision which he says happened right in front of him on north Topeka Boulevard on Nov. 12. The viewer says a truck swerved after seeing a deer, and then took out a light pole.

“If a deer enters the roadway in front of your car, it is best to hit the animal and not swerve
to avoid it,” KHP Captain Candice Breshears said. “We find more serious crashes occur
when you swerve to miss the deer, potentially losing control of your vehicle, leaving the
road or veering into oncoming traffic.”

KDOT reports in 2022, six people were killed and 575 were injured in collisions involving deer. Click here to view the vehicle-deer statistics by county for 2022, with the statewide stats at the bottom of the file.

State experts give these deer safety tips:

  • Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are more active.
  • If you see one deer, expect others, as deer seldom travel alone.
  • Be alert and reduce speeds near wooded areas or green spaces and near water sources
    such as streams and ponds.
  • Deer crossing signs show areas where high numbers of vehicle-deer collisions have
    occurred in the past; but they can happen on any roadway, including city streets.
  • Do not swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Motorists could then veer into oncoming
    traffic, run off the road, hit objects or overturn.
  • Use bright headlights when there is no oncoming traffic and scan for the reflective
    eyes of deer.
  • If a collision occurs, move the vehicle to the roadway’s shoulder. Then, if possible,
    call law enforcement – KHP dispatch at *47, the Kansas Turnpike at *KTA or local
    law enforcement at 911.
  • Put the vehicle’s hazard lights on, whether it is light or dark outside.
  • Remain in the vehicle with your seat belt fastened to be better protected.
  • Contact your insurance company to report any vehicle damage.