FRANKFORT, Ky — On average, U.S. drivers have a 1 in 116 chance of colliding with an animal, according to data from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

However, Kentucky ranks above the national average and 18th among the states at 1 chance in 88. By comparison, drivers in neighboring West Virginia run the highest risk with a 1 in 37 chance.

What You Need To Know

  • Deer become more active in cool weather

  • Don't swerve to avoid a deer

  • Constantly scan the roadside, especially at dawn and dusk

  • In the event of a crash, keep both hands on the wheel and apply brakes steadily

As the weather cools, deer activity increases. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is aware of this seasonal danger to motorists. To minimize the threat, the organization has kicked off its annual "Antler Alert” campaign.

This messaging push drives home a few simple steps the public should take to protect themselves. The first is to slow down the moment you spot even one deer. That’s because the animals tend to travel in groups. Don’t swerve to avoid deer either. Doing so may lead to a more serious crash, with an oncoming vehicle or a roadside object.

In the event of an actual collision, keep both hands on the wheel and engage the brakes steadily until you stop. It also pays to scan the road constantly while driving, especially at dawn and at dusk. Deer are particularly active during these hours.

KYTC also encourages motorists to report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police. KYTC engineers use the information to deploy deer-crossing signs and other safety measures.