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Double fatal accident prompts warnings about deer

Drivers need to be alert as deer are now on the move for mating and migration
Posted at 6:55 PM, Oct 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 18:55:27-04

TOWN OF GAINES, N.Y. (WKBW) — After two young adults were killed following an accident involving their vehicle and a deer along State Route 104 in the Town of Gaines, the AAA is warning drivers that deer are on the move.

Autumn is a peak season for deer-car accidents as the animals are very active due to mating and migration.

The AAA of Western & Central NY provided the following information:

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.

“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.