VISALIA, Ky. -- It's Christmas time, but it was no reindeer that hit a Kenton County Police cruiser... even if it was flying.
Kenton County Officer Pittaluga was driving along Decoursey Pike over the weekend, when a buck ran smack into the driver's side of his car.
For the record, Pittaluga did brake and steer away, but the beast still hit, leaving a pretty gnarly dent near the front headlight:
Pittaluga wasn't hurt.
The buck was almost definitely a little worse for the wear: After he hit the cruiser, he flipped through the air and then smacked a road sign when he landed on the right berm. He rolled a couple times before running off.
Over the weekend, Officer Pittaluga encountered a large deer while driving on Decoursey Pike through Visalia. The encounter was less than cordial and ended as abruptly as it began. We think this video is a pretty good training video on how to react when a four-legged furry friend attempts to abruptly cross your path. Officer Pittaluga applied his brakes and steered away from the deer in a controlled manner. Although he didn't manage to avoid the collision, he did maintain control of his vehicle throughout the entire incident, even when the large (but apparently agile and acrobatically trained) deer was performing a Triple Axel over the hood of his cruiser. Our officer was unharmed but the cruiser did sustain some damage. As for the deer, he appeared to brush off the incident before quickly running away into the woods. We did place a call to Santa just to be sure this deer didn't belong to him (we would hate to end up on the naughty list). He was quick to point out that he employs reindeer and that, although this deer did appear to fly, it was not a reindeer (we still aren't clear whether we will be making the nice list or not).
Posted by Kenton County Police Department on Tuesday, December 1, 2015
According to Kentucky State Police, the months of October, November and December see the highest deer-automobile collisions, with those three months accounting for about 47 percent of all crashes during the year.
The highest likelihood of a crash is between 5 and 8 p.m., and between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Still, Kentucky didn't rank in the top 10 states for deer-auto collisions, according to Bankrate.com (and neither did Ohio or Indiana, for that matter). The worst state? West Virginia, where the odds of hitting a deer were pegged at 1 in 44.
The best tips to avoid a hitting a deer:
- Be extra cautious during those peak hours listed above.
- If you spot one deer, there are probably more nearby.
- Use your high beams at night when there's no other traffic around.
- If you spot a deer near the road, slow down and blast your horn.
- Brake when you notice a deer in the road, but don't swerve: That can lead to an even more serious crash.
- Wear your seat belt (this goes for any season, really).
- Don't rely on deer whistles, deer fences or reflectors; according to the Insurance Information Institute, there's no reliable evidence they work.