Deer Season Opens – For Cars?
Shotgun deer hunting season opens this Saturday (11/19) here in New York, but that can also mean it's open season with your car too. Not on purpose, hopefully, but this just also happens to be the height of deer mating season. Which, believe it or not, leads to more deer vs. car collisions than any other time of the year.
In fact, in a press release from AAA they quantify just how many accidents are caused by deer in November, "AAA analyzed New York crash data and found that November is by far the peak month for deer crashes in the Empire State. In November 2016, there were 4,469 deer crashes – equivalent to one deer crash every ten minutes."
Deer can be seen out any time of day, but there are times when accidents happen more often than other. Dusk for one, between 5pm and 7pm. Not only is it rush hour traffic with more cars on the roads, but these are also the hours deer are moving around; heading out to their feeding areas. Dawn is another time you see more deer movement, because they're headed back to their "home" areas to sleep for the day.
Hopefully you can avoid the accidents altogether, but what should you do if hit a deer? According to AAA, "New York State Police recommend that if you strike a deer, remain at the scene and call 911. An accident report can be completed by troopers if your vehicle has over $1,000 in damage or if an involved person has been injured."
AAA also 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.