COLUMBUS, Kan. — As temperatures drop and leaves fall, deer are more frequent on our roadways. And with many rural areas throughout the Four States, it’s easy to find a deer in your headlights.

“‘Cause if you see one deer, 9 times out of 10 there’s another one behind it,” said Chief Deputy Nate Jones, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s that time of year, especially in rural areas, when keeping an eye on the road and the woods or ditches around the roads becomes crucial. And according to State Farm Simple Insights, Missouri and Arkansas are listed under high-risk states, while Kansas and Oklahoma are considered medium-risk states.

“This time of year, the deer are on the move. The car-deer accidents are influxed [sic], the deputies are getting an influx of calls to respond to, mainly in dawn and dusk, that’s when deer are on the move,” said Jones.

Chief Deputy Jones said there is a way to try avoiding an injury crash if you find a deer in your headlights. But, it won’t prevent your vehicle from damage.

“The best thing to do, and I know it’s not fun, is to just hit the deer. The chance you take when you swerve is your vehicle to go off the roadway and then you’re going to roll and that risk of large injury or great bodily injury at that point, where if you just hit the deer, you’re going to get some damage to the vehicle,” said Jones.

“That pretty much totals it then. So, and then there’s injuries. So, it’s best to hit it straight-on,” said Sean Beck.

Beck, owner of Full Service Automotive in Columbus, Kansas, said when a car swerves and ends up off the road or in a ditch, usually after rolling a few times, that can cost thousands of dollars in repairs, not to mention some serious injuries. Hitting the deer head-on usually results in less injuries and damage mainly to the front of the vehicle, rather than total damage.

“Use your brights, especially when you’re in rural areas and traffic is not on-coming. It helps illuminate the deer’s eye, you can see them in the ditches and see them from a greater distance and have time to prepare for them. And there’s always the straggler that’s trying to get across at the last minute,” added Jones.