By G. Anthonie Riis | Fort Knox NewsOctober 10, 2019
Fort Knox drivers have hit twice as many deer as they did this time last year, said a Fort Knox safety official.
This fact is garnering additional attention, as peak season for deer movement has only just begun.
"Typically, you'll see the majority of deer strikes between the months of October and December due to the breeding season," said Wendy Steinhoff, a certified safety and health official with the Garrison Safety Office. "We may be seeing more movement because of the drought we've had as the deer look for food and water."
Steinhoff said little can be done to keep deer from crossing into the neighborhoods and common areas at Fort Knox, which means drivers may need to adjust.
"If you see one deer, expect to see more," she said. "Drive with extreme caution in areas where deer are seen, and anticipate what others might do."
Steinhoff said people might cause more damage by attempting to avoid an accident and then overcorrecting.
"It's really important that you don't slam on your brakes or you could cause the person behind you to hit you. [We've] already seen it happen this year," said Steinhoff. "Don't swerve and risk losing control and hitting another driver. You'll probably do more harm than if you'd hit the deer."
She said it's in the hands of the driver to prevent a collision.
"Drivers really need to be aware, watch for [deer] and slow down," Steinhoff said. "That will prevent most collisions with [them] and will reduce the damage if an accident is unavoidable."
Knowing what to expect and when to expect is a big help, said Gerry LaPlace, a supervisor with Fort Knox Conservation Law Enforcement.
"Leave earlier for work and take your time getting home because the deer move at dusk and at dawn -- the same times that you're coming to or from work," said LaPlace. "I don't know that driving under the speed limit will reduce the risk, but drivers need to pay better attention to their surroundings and avoid some of the distractors that we have today. Drivers need to leave the radio, phones and texting alone and pay attention to the road -- especially during those hours."
Steinhoff's final suggestion was to never approach a wounded deer after an accident.
"Deer are unpredictable when frightened, and you don't want it to hurt you or further injure itself by trying to get away from you," she said. "It's best to call the military police and let them handle it."