Don't Let the Rut be a Punch to the Gut
The rut is on! The time of year when active deer add an extra element of risk to our roadways.
In 2020, Kansas experienced 9,670 deer-related accidents with an average insurance claim of nearly $5,500. From mid-October until the end of December, deer-related collisions skyrocket throughout the state.
Defensive driving skills become crucial while the deer rut. Listed below are several helpful tips aimed at keeping drivers safe from the perils of the road ahead:
- Peak activity for deer is during dawn and dusk. This period of high activity and low visibility requires drivers to stay alert and pay closer attention to the sides of the road.
- Pay heed to the deer-crossing signs. These signs are posted at locations where deer collisions have regularly occurred.
- Deer are social animals. Dodging one deer often requires dodging others.
- Always slow down when approaching a deer standing near the side of the road. Deer will run when frightened and the road ahead can always be part of their chosen escape path.
- Be loud! A long blast of the car's horn will often frighten deer away from the road. Plus, a car's honk can caution other drivers within the vicinity.
- Brighten up the path. Utilized when there is no oncoming traffic, a car's high-beam headlights can help drivers better scan the road for the reflective eyes of deer ahead.
"Cautious driving can not only save Kansans from expensive vehicle damage, but it often saves lives," said Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt.
If a deer-related collision happens, remember to call law enforcement. In Kansas, collisions that result in damages (injury or property) totaling $1,000 or more are required to immediately be reported to the nearest law enforcement agency.
Additional driving techniques for avoiding deer collisions can be found at kansashighwaypatrol.org/253/Avoiding-Collisions-with-Deer.
For Kansas drivers in search of assistance regarding auto insurance and the claims process, visit insurance.kansas.gov/auto-insurance/.
(Information courtesy Kansas Insurance Department.)