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DMV and DEC remind motorists deer and moose are more active October through December

Pennsylvania Daily Life
Posted at 11:22 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 11:22:26-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have issued a reminder to motorists that deer and moose become more active in the fall.

State officials say from October through December the animals are more likely to enter public roadways and it is breeding season and they are more visible.

Citing data from the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, officials say 43% of crashes in 2020 between deer and vehicles occurred during this three-month span.

During the fall months, motorists should drive with extra caution to help avoid collisions with deer and moose. Be on the lookout for deer-crossing signs along roadways. They indicate deer have been seen at that location and have collided with cars there. Those signs are meant to warn you to be extra cautious when driving through such locations.
- Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee

Officials say animals are especially active at dawn and dusk and you can take the following precautions to reduce the chance of a crash:

  • Decrease speed when you approach deer near roadsides. Deer can "bolt" or change direction at the last minute.
  • If you see a deer go across the road, decrease speed and be careful. Deer travel in groups so expect other deer to follow.
  • Use emergency lights or a headlight signal to warn other drivers when deer are seen on or near the road.
  • Use caution on roadways marked with deer crossing signs.
  • Use extreme caution when driving at dawn or dusk, when animal movement is at its highest and visibility is reduced.
  • If you encounter an animal on the roadway, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a collision with another vehicle, a tree, a pole, or other objects.

If you strike an animal the DEC says to stay away from it, below you can find some other tips:

  • Move your vehicle to a safe place. If possible, pull over to the side of the road, and turn on your hazard lights. If you must leave your vehicle, stay off the road and out of the way of any oncoming vehicles. If a collision occurs at dusk or dawn, please remember you could be less visible to traffic.
  • Call the police. Alert authorities if the animal is blocking traffic and creating a threat for other drivers. If the collision results in injury, death or more than $1,000 in property damage, you must fill out an official crash report [dmv.ny.gov] and send it to DMV.
  • Don't assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won't latch and other safety hazards. If your vehicle seems unsafe in any way, call for a tow truck.