In recent years, the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office saw decrease in the number of car-deer accidents on county roadways. But the Sheriff's Office is seeing more accidents this year, Undersheriff Jim Sherley said.
In recent years, the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office saw decrease in the number of car-deer accidents on county roadways. But the Sheriff’s Office is seeing more accidents this year, Undersheriff Jim Sherley said.
Sherley said the numbers appear to be returning to what had been normal levels for this time of year.
“The numbers probably are back up to where they had been,” he said.
Sherley said it is important for drivers not to disregard deer crossing signs.
November is considered to be part of the peak season for car-deer accidents.
For the last couple of years, deputies may have only seen a “smattering” of car-deer accidents each week during this season, Sherley said.
But this year, car-deer accidents are occurring almost on a daily basis, he said.
He said this is a return to the level of car-accidents that was experienced about five years ago.
Inside the city of Leavenworth, Police Chief Pat Kitchens believes officers have seen a slight uptick this year in the number of car-deer accidents.
Leavenworth has an urban deer management program designed to help control the deer population in the city.
Capt. Ben Ontiveros of the Lansing Police Department said there does not seem to be an increase so far this season in car-deer accidents in Lansing.
“It seems about the norm,” he said.
The Kansas Highway Patrol offers the following tips for drivers during the peak season for car-deer accidents.
• If you see a deer or other animal on the road, do not swerve to avoid it, slow down, and if you must, strike it rather than swerving. Swerving can lead to overcorrecting your vehicle, which is often more dangerous than just hitting the animal.
• If your vehicle is disabled in a traffic crash, or if it breaks down while traveling, get it as far off the road as possible if you can move it. Kansas law states that if you are involved in a non-injury crash, and you are not hauling hazardous materials, drivers must remove their vehicles from the lane of travel on any interstate highway, U.S. highway, or any multilane or divided roadway to help avoid other collisions.
• If you strike a deer or other animal, do not worry about the animal. KHP troopers or local law enforcement officers will move the animal when they arrive. If it is still in the roadway, let dispatch know when you call.
• If possible, remain in your vehicle, and remain buckled up. If a crash would occur involving your vehicle or another nearby, you are more protected than if you are out in the roadway or even on the shoulder.
• If you must be outside of your vehicle, make sure it is as far off the road as possible; make sure your hazard lights are activated; don’t stand between your vehicle and another vehicle; and make sure your children are kept properly restrained in your vehicle.
• If you have exited your vehicle, it is important to remain very vigilant and watch traffic to make sure they are not getting close to you. If your vehicle becomes disabled at night, you should wait for law enforcement to arrive. Emergency lighting from patrol vehicles helps to make your vehicle more visible to other motorists.