Oh Deer! Autumn Animal Crashes on the Rise in New York
Buck-le up. Tis the season for deer crashes in New York State.
Most car crashes with deer happen October through December and the numbers are increasing every year in New York. AAA found there's approximately one crash every 15 minutes after Daylight Savings Time ends and breeding season begins. And deer were involved in about 98 percent of those crashes. It's the highest in more than a decade.
"Striking a deer can be extremely dangerous, with the animal possibly going through the windshield, seriously injuring or killing the driver and passengers,” said Robert Sinclair Jr., spokesman for AAA Northeast. "In 2019, animal crashes led to 1,778 vehicle occupant injuries and 12 deaths. October through December, mating season for deer, are the worst months for animal strikes."
To avoid a costly collision, you're advised to use caution when driving at dawn or dusk. That's when deer are most active. Scan the side of the road, especially near wooded areas, looking for deer. Remember, if you see one, you'll likely see more. Deer often travel in groups. They are also unpredictable. Deer can stop in the road, cross back in front of you or even run towards a vehicle.
If a deer runs in front of your vehicle, AAA says brake but do not swerve. You may run into oncoming traffic or off the road and into a tree.
If you do hit a deer, do not touch or get close to it. It may only be injured.
It's not just deer New Yorkers need to be on the lookout for either. Elk and moose are also more active this time of year, especially in Upstate New York.