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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Law enforcement urges caution with deer

  • This is the time of year when drivers traditionally are more likely to see deer on roadways.
    And while swerving to avoid a deer may be a driver's natural reaction, a local law enforcement official it's important not to "overcorrect."
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  • This is the time of year when drivers traditionally are more likely to see deer on roadways.
    And while swerving to avoid a deer may be a driver's natural reaction, a local law enforcement official it's important not to "overcorrect."
    "You can get down in a ditch and roll over," Undersheriff Jim Sherley said.
    Or a vehicle can end up colliding with oncoming traffic.
    He recommended slow, steady breaking and a gentle avoidance maneuver.
    In fact, Sherley said it sometimes may be best to strike a deer instead of overcorrecting and ending up in a worse accident.
    He said there will be less damage caused by hitting a deer than a rollover.
    But Sherley said if drivers "just slow down and pay attention most of these car-deer accidents can be avoided."
    The deer breeding season peaks in mid-November, and this is when deer-vehicle accidents occur at the highest rate, according to a news release from Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the Kansas Highway Patrol.
    Sherley recommends driving defensively and always looking out for animals including in ditches.
    If a driver sees one deer, Sherley said, there probably are more around.
    He said the bulk of car-deer accidents occur at dusk and dawn as deer are moving to different places.
    And in cases in which people hit and kill deer, the deer are not supposed to removed from the scene without deer tags. Sherley said these can be issued by responding sheriff's deputies.
    Anyone involved in a car-deer crash that results in personal injury or property damage of $1,000 or more is required by law to immediately report the accident to the nearest law enforcement agency, according to the release from KDOT, KDWPT and KHP.
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