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Rut season brings added danger to roads
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Driving defensively during the deer mating season is a must for Kansas drivers, say state and local officials.
The reality of driving on Kansas roads and highways this time of year is the possible encounter with a deer, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer said. That can happen whether you live in Barton County or in any part of the state.
According to the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, there has been quite a few accidents already during the mating season this year.
“On the average we have one or two deer related accidents a day between the Sheriff’s Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said. “Big up-tic in deer related accidents due to rut season and farmers working their fields.”
According to a 2013 report from the Kansas Department of Transportation, there were 178 deer related accidents in Barton County. There were 9,138 throughout the state, with nine fatalities and 527 injuries.
According to the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, rut season begins in October, with November being the peek of rut season and it ending in December.
A 2015 report from State Farm Insurance notes that Kansas has the 18th-highest frequency in deer-vehicle mishaps in the United States. The chance of a driver having a vehicle collision with a deer in Kansas this fall is one in 125. The national rate is one in 169.
According to Selzer, the average property damage from a deer-vehicle collision jumped 6 percent this year to $4,135, according to a current nationwide study.
Mid-fall and mid-spring are likely times of the year for deer to be seen on Kansas roadways, because of breeding habits during the fall and growth of vegetation during the spring. And, sunrise and sunset are the times that deer are most active.
“I urge Kansas motorists to check with your insurance agents to find out the type of vehicle accident damage coverage your policies have,” Selzer said. “Then, if a deer accident occurs, you should contact your insurance agent or company quickly to begin the claims process.”
The Barton County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind drivers to be safe and drive with caution during this time of year.