Oh Deer! New York Deer Crashes Peak in Autumn

Oh Deer! New York Deer Crashes Peak in Autumn

Drivers should be on the lookout for animals on the road
Region
All Regions
Elizabeth Carey

New York drivers need to buck up this fall and watch for deer. AAA analyzed New York crash data and found that October, November and December are by far the peak months for deer crashes in the Empire State. From October to December 2016, there were 9,720 deer crashes across the state – equivalent to one deer crash every fifteen minutes.

Animal-related crashes are on the rise in New York. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and 
Research, 2017 had the most crashes listed with an animal’s action as a contributing factor since 2009, the earliest year that records are available.

Motorists should be especially vigilant after dark. From October-December 2016, 84 percent of deer crashes occurred outside daylight hours. Crashes were most common from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. during the evening rush when darkness had just set in.

From October to December 2016, the top five counties for deer crashes were:

  • Orange (581)
  • Monroe (469)
  • Erie (398)
  • Oneida (364)
  • Ulster (354)

“Drivers should always be on the lookout for hazards on the road, but the danger of deer increases every fall,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA WCNY. “Car-deer collisions can be both deadly and costly. Drivers should pay close attention, avoid distractions and scan the road for deer when traveling on area roadways.”

AAA offers the following tips for avoiding or mitigating deer crashes:

  • Scan the shoulders of the road in front of you. Deer may dash out from the shoulder or wooded areas adjacent to the road. They often travel in herds.
  • Follow the speed limit. Keeping your speed down will give you more time to respond to unexpected wildlife movements.
  • If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane. Swerving sharply to avoid an animal can often cause a more serious crash.