Tips To Avoid Car/Deer Crashes

Although certainly not entirely predictable, the majority of car/deer crashes do have regular pattern of occurrence with respect to times of the day, months of the year and locations. Nearly two-thirds of the annual car/deer crashes in New York State occur in the months of October, November, and December, during the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Be especially alert during the peak crash months of October, November and December, our hunting season and their mating time, when deer are most stressed and their behavior most unpredictable.

Deer naturally feed and move in the dawn and dusk hours. This is a good defense against natural predators but a real problem time for drivers. Be especially careful during these times of limited visibility.

Deer are herd animals. If you see one by, or in, the roadway, slow down and be prepared to stop. There are probably others about to cross.

If startled by the sounds or lights of a vehicle, or any other threat, deer will bolt from the perceived danger without regard for the consequences. Be ready for erratic behavior.

At night and at times of limited visibility, when there is no oncoming traffic, drive with your high beams on. This will illuminate the eyes of deer approaching or already in the roadway.

No matter the season or time of day, always use special caution in areas marked with deer crossing signs.

If you see deer in the roadway, attempt . to warn on-coming vehicles by flashing your headlights.
 
Always wear your seatbelt and drive at a safe and prudent speed for conditions.

When driving at a normal speed and surprised by a deer, don't swerve your vehicle to avoid striking it. Reactive, evasive moves can result in a loss of vehicle control. It is generally better to hit the deer than to run into an oncoming vehicle or a fixed object like a tree.

Car/Deer Crash Facts

Nationally, about 1.5 million car/deer crashes, resulting in an average of 150 human deaths and 1.1 billion dollars of damage, are reported annually.

The Insurance Institute estimates that the average claim for a car/deer crash exceeds $2,600.00.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation estimates a statewide deer population of one million.

Due to the nature of car/deer crashes it is difficult to obtain a definitive total, but it is estimated that between 38,000 and 57,000 such crashes occur annually on New York's roads, with a cost between 30 and 50 million dollars.

Over the past ten years, 44 people have died as a result of car/deer crashes in New York State.

In some New York counties, car'deer incidents account for over 20% of the reported crashes.





From the New York State Sherriffs' Association Institute, Inc.