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Deer / Auto Collisions in Kentucky

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 more than $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 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 during 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 the past five years.

On this page, you can view the following information:

Annual Deer / Auto Collisions

Updated 04/07/16

Year Number of Deer Collisions Fatalities Injured
2011 2,976 3 146
2012 2,798 0 140
2013 2,985 0 137
2014 3,108 3 115
2015 3,283 3 163
Annual Deer / Auto Collisions Chart Annual Deer / Auto Collisions Chart

(Source: KSP CRASH)

Deer / Auto Collisions by Month

Updated 04/07/16

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 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total Average
January 199 204 189 213 202 1,007 201
February 198 164 139 192 122 815 163
March 195 182 179 210 212 978 196
April 168 166 171 168 176 849 170
May 234 187 196 202 230 1,049 210
June 230 201 214 208 248 1,101 220
July 136 136 134 177 142 725 145
August 120 114 108 126 133 601 120
September 152 127 177 153 177 786 157
October 350 380 374 420 407 1,931 386
November 697 679 806 706 847 3,735 747
December 297 258 298 333 387 1,573 315
Chart of Collisions with Deer 2010-2014 Chart of Collisions with Deer 2010-2014

High Detail Kentucky Deer Collision Map

Updated 04/07/15

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 61 12
ALLEN 147 29
ANDERSON 115 23
BALLARD 41 8
BARREN 266 53
BATH 19 4
BELL 57 11
BOONE 754 151
BOURBON 56 11
BOYD 425 85
BOYLE 56 11
BRACKEN 80 16
BREATHITT 41 8
BRECKINRIDGE 58 12
BULLITT 102 20
BUTLER 108 22
CALDWELL 107 21
CALLOWAY 168 34
CAMPBELL 447 89
CARLISLE 26 5
CARROLL 172 34
CARTER 130 26
CASEY 45 9
CHRISTIAN 466 93
CLARK 46 9
CLAY 66 13
CLINTON 53 11
CRITTENDEN 31 6
CUMBERLAND 31 6
DAVIESS 365 73
EDMONSON 54 11
ELLIOTT 13 3
ESTILL 23 5
FAYETTE 117 23
FLEMING 52 10
FLOYD 155 31
FRANKLIN 376 75
FULTON 30 6
GALLATIN 38 8
GARRARD 26 5
GRANT 201 40
GRAVES 264 53
GRAYSON 163 33
GREEN 59 12
GREENUP 98 20
HANCOCK 62 12
HARDIN 465 93
HARLAN 66 13
HARRISON 117 23
HART 118 24
HENDERSON 412 82
HENRY 167 33
HICKMAN 11 2
HOPKINS 618 124
JACKSON 32 6
JEFFERSON 491 98
JESSAMINE 58 12
JOHNSON 56 11
KENTON 386 77
KNOTT 47 9
KNOX 62 12
LARUE 45 9
LAUREL 96 19
LAWRENCE 51 10
LEE 6 1
LESLIE 6 1
LETCHER 24 5
LEWIS 32 6
LINCOLN 83 17
LIVINGSTON 69 14
LOGAN 111 22
LYON 204 41
MADISON 117 23
MAGOFFIN 44 9
MARION 60 12
MARSHALL 187 37
MARTIN 4 1
MASON 128 26
MCCRACKEN 50 10
MCCREARY 48 10
MCLEAN 93 19
MEADE 80 16
MENIFEE 5 1
MERCER 63 13
METCALFE 96 19
MONROE 4 1
MONTGOMERY 77 15
MORGAN 65 13
MUHLENBERG 369 74
NELSON 171 34
NICHOLAS 42 8
OHIO 153 31
OLDHAM 208 42
OWEN 102 20
OWSLEY 14 3
PENDLETON 118 24
PERRY 43 9
PIKE 136 27
POWELL 48 10
PULASKI 286 57
ROBERTSON 8 2
ROCKCASTLE 94 19
ROWAN 190 38
RUSSELL 23 5
SCOTT 166 33
SHELBY 266 53
SIMPSON 77 15
SPENCER 87 17
TAYLOR 218 44
TODD 96 19
TRIGG 179 36
TRIMBLE 94 19
UNION 127 25
WARREN 261 52
WASHINGTON 102 20
WAYNE 14 3
WEBSTER 132 26
WHITLEY 71 14
WOLFE 45 9
WOODFORD 100 20

(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 2010-2014 An image of the Deer/Auto Collisions for the month of November 2010-2014
Time of Day 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Average Percent of Total
12:00 AM - 00:59AM 22 22 24 28 19 23 3.08%
1:00 AM - 1:59AM 20 16 23 20 25 20.8 2.78%
2:00 AM - 2:59 AM 11 8 21 19 15 14.8 1.98%
3:00 AM - 3:59 AM 10 8 12 16 17 12.6 1.69%
4:00 AM - 4:59 AM 19 15 13 16 24 17.4 2.33%
5:00 AM - 5:59 AM 29 32 33 22 33 29.8 3.99%
6:00 AM - 6:59 AM 53 49 55 45 44 49.2 6.59%
7:00 AM - 7:59 AM 44 39 42 34 49 41.6 5.57%
8:00 AM - 8:59 AM 13 16 17 15 15 15.2 2.03%
9:00 AM - 9:59 AM 10 14 14 16 8 12.4 1.66%
10:00 AM - 10:59 AM 12 6 7 7 16 9.6 1.29%
11:00 AM - 11:59 AM 5 4 10 6 10 7 0.94%
12:00 PM - 12:59 PM 4 7 6 4 7 5.6 0.75%
1:00 PM - 1:59 PM 2 3 9 3 5 4.4 0.59%
2:00 PM - 2:59 PM 7 2 8 10 2 5.8 0.78%
3:00 PM - 3:59 PM 5 6 4 5 9 5.8 0.78%
4:00 PM - 4:59 PM 23 11 18 19 27 19.6 2.62%
5:00 PM - 5:59 PM 68 72 91 93 108 86.4 11.57%
6:00 PM - 6:59 PM 103 97 126 98 129 110.6 14.81%
7:00 PM - 7:59 PM 70 73 95 66 69 74.6 9.99%
8:00 PM - 8:59 PM 51 43 53 49 69 53 7.10%
9:00 PM - 9:59 PM 42 58 59 46 55 52 6.96%
10:00 PM - 10:59 PM 30 41 38 39 60 31.6 5.57%
11:00 PM - 11:59 PM 44 37 28 30 32 34.2 4.58%

(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.