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Oneida County among tops in state for car-deer crashes

Posted 11/10/22

Road crash data analyzed by AAA shows that peak months for animal crashes are October, November, and December in New York, especially for deer.

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Oneida County among tops in state for car-deer crashes

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UTICA — Road crash data analyzed by AAA shows that peak months for animal crashes are October, November, and December in New York, especially for deer.

There were 34,064 animal related crashes statewide last year, of which 1,520 involved injuries and five were fatal. That’s equivalent to one animal-related crash every 16 minutes.

Oneida County ranked fourth among the state’s 62 counties when it comes to vehicle-animal crashes in 2021, according to the state statistics, with 1,269 crashes.

Among the top 10 counties are:

  • Suffolk County — 1,367 crashes;
  • Monroe County— 1,358 crashes;
  • Orange County — 1,356 crashes;
  • Oneida County — 1,269 crashes;
  • St. Lawrence County — 1,260 crashes;
  • Jefferson County — 1,217 crashes;
  • Ontario County — 1,196 crashes;
  • Erie County — 1,008 crashes;
  • Onondaga County — 972 crashes; and
  • Livingston County — 929 crashes.

According to AAA, motorists should be especially vigilant at dusk and after dark. More than 80% of deer crashes occur outside of daylight hours. Crashes are most common from 5 to 8 p.m.

“Drivers should always be on the lookout for hazards on the road, but the danger of deer is particularly acute in the fall,” said Patti Artessa, AAA Northeast regional director of Public and Government Affairs. “Deer present dangers to themselves, vehicles, and vehicle occupants, so it behooves everybody to be vigilant. Crashes with deer can be very costly and even deadly.”

AAA offers these 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.
  • Follow the speed limit; keeping your speed down will give you more time to respond to unexpected wildlife movements.
  • Be careful rounding curves and climbing hills where visibility is limited.
  • One long blast on your horn may frighten animals away from your car if you spy them early enough. If you spy one deer, look out for others. Deer rarely travel alone.
  • Use your high beams along dark roadways if there is no oncoming traffic.
  • If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane; swerving sharply can cause an even more serious crash. Cars are designed to deal with the impact of striking a deer, however, swerving often leads to more dangerous crashes, including striking trees, other cars or rollovers.

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