Car vs. deer accidents causing problems in WNY

Posted at 7:05 PM, Dec 16, 2015

The number of car vs. deer accidents in WNY continues to be a big problem that is costing drivers thousands of dollars each year.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the average damage caused by a collision between a vehicle and a deer in New York State is approximately $3,400 (Most recent data from 2014).

However, collision shops, like Fineline Collision in Wales Center, tell 7 Eyewitness News that it is very common to see deer impacts causing eight to ten thousand dollars damage to vehicles.

"People are clobbering deer left and right, and there are a lot out there," said Fineline Collision owner Eric Jorgensen.

Jorgensen says the problem use to be seasonal but it now accounts for half of his business year-round.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office reports it handled 198 complaints of car-deer accidents just since the beginning of September 2015.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's said it was aware of 222 car-deer accidents since the beginning of the year, but the total for all of Chautauqua County is much higher because other police agencies, like NY State Police, handled calls on their own.

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's tell 7 Eyewitness News that they too handle hundreds of car-deer accidents every year.

"About two hundred fatalities per year (nationwide) are attributed to deer accidents," said Kerry Donnelly, assistant manager of driver training for AAA of Western & Central NY.

The AAA recommends the following:

  • Keep eyes moving back and forth
  • Be especially attentive in early morning and evening hours
  • Use high-beams when there's no on-coming traffic
  • If a dear is spotted, slow down and watch for others because deer rarely travel alone
  • Slow down around curves
  • Use a long blast from your horn to try and scare the animals away from your vehicle

Cattaraugus Sheriff's also strongly recommend switching from all-season tires to snow tires during the winter months. Not only will the softer rubber compound help cars stop quicker, but the tires grip the road better giving improved maneuverability.




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