TOPEKA, Kan. - Kansas drivers should be on high alert Nov. 18, "Deer D-Day," the day deer/automobile crashes peak in the state.
During the past decade, 700 deer-vehicle collisions have occurred in Kansas on Nov. 18.
The state's large deer population, which fluctuates between 350,000 and 400,000, is particularly active during November and December.
This time of year is deer mating, or rut, season. In addition, deer tend to widen their foraging range as they build up their fat reserves for the winter. They often migrate from one foraging range to another during early winter, exposing themselves to risks, like highways, with which they might not be familiar.
The results are often costly in terms of property damage, personal injury and even death.
"We continue to see a high number of crashes in Kansas," said Pete Bodyk, chief of the Kansas Department of Transportation's Bureau of Traffic Safety. "Even though our numbers for deer-related crashes dropped overall in 2005, Kansas drivers need to stay alert to the dangers on roadways on Nov. 18."
Kansas motorists are increasingly likely to experience deer on roadways during November and December, as the number of deer/vehicle crashes escalates dramatically during these two months.
The Kansas Department of Transportation recorded a total of 8,819 deer-related crashes in 2005 in Kansas - that's almost 13 percent of all recorded collisions. In those accidents, two people died and 328 were injured. Last year's number also represents the fewest crashes since 1996 when there were 8,415 deer-related crashes.
Counties with a high population are credited with most of the deer-related crashes. Johnson County had the highest with 358, followed by Sedgwick with 345 and Butler County with 261. Leavenworth County had 243.
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