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Oh Deer! How to Avoid Collisions with Deer



Two-thirds of all deer-vehicle collisions occur during the months of October, November and December. This is also the time when deer breed, when they travel the most. Daily deer activity is highest at dawn and dusk, which often is the highest time of travel for motor-vehicle commuters. Deer travel in groups – if you see one, expect more.  Areas where there have been many deer-vehicle collisions often are marked with deer crossing signs. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recommends these precautions motorists can take to reduce the chance of a deer hit:

  • Be careful when you drive at dawn and dusk; this is when driver visibility is bad and the deer are most active.
  • The risk of deer-vehicle collisions increases when deer movements increase during breeding season in October, November and December.
  • 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, 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. These signs are put in areas that have had a large number of deer-vehicle collisions.

Be safe out there!

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