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Tuesday is the day Kansas Highway Patrol sees most deer-involved crashes

Posted at 7:13 AM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 08:18:10-05

MERRIAM, Kan. — Deer are on the move across Kansas and Missouri, which means drivers are more likely to see them on roads. 

The Kansas Highway Patrol says Nov. 13 is historically the day with the most car versus deer crashes.

The majority of crashes involving deer happen from October to December, around dawn and dusk when deer are active during their mating season. 

Oliver Sparks lives in Miami County, Kansas. He said he’s hit about 6 deer in his lifetime. This time of year, he changes his mindset when driving.

"I definitely keep my eyes on the shoulder and make sure my headlights are working and cleaned up. I think of the weather as well, if it’s a little bit slick" Sparks said. 

The Kansas Department of Transportation said there were 10,150 deer-involved car crashes in 2016. Seven people died in those crashes. 

Across the state line, the Missouri Department of Transportation reported 4,111 deer-involved crashes in 2017, resulting in seven human fatalities. Five of the deaths occurred in October and November. 

Using data from 2016, here are the number of deer-involved crashes in counties on the Missouri side of the metro:

Cass - 65
Clay - 97
Jackson - 167
Johnson - 62
Lafayette - 32
Platte - 110
Ray - 13

The most recent county by county data available in Kansas is from 2014.

Douglas - 198
Johnson - 323
Leavenworth - 220
Miami - 208
Wyandotte - 168

If you see a deer on the road, highway patrol advises you to brake if you can, and do not swerve. Troopers said in some cases it may be best to hit the deer as opposed to losing control of your car and going into oncoming traffic.

Call 911 after a crash and stay in your car if possible. Troopers will move the deer if need be.