Many of you have probably had a run in, literally, with a deer or some other animal while driving down the road. In 2019 New York State saw the highest number of animal crashes in the last decade.

A release from AAA Northeast demonstrates that over the last five years animal related accidents have been on the rise. Last year alone 36,445 animal crashes were reported in New York State, according to AAA Northeast. When you break it down by individual county, Oneida County had the 4th highest number of crashes caused by a wild animal. AAA reports Oneida County saw 1,291. The county with the highest number of crashes was actually Orange County with 1,616.

One of the worst culprits when it comes to these type of crashes is deer. AAA Northeast says the latest data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research indicates that 88 to 98 percent of the incidents are related to the four-legged friends. Patti Artessa is the Regional Director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Northeast. Artessa says, "Striking a deer can be extremely dangerous, with the animal possibly going through the windshield, seriously injuring or killing the driver and passengers." The danger stems from the sheer size of the animal.

AAA is offering drivers advice on how to prevent these types of crashes. They say,

  • Scan the shoulders of the road in front of you; deer may dash out from wooded areas adjacent to the road.
  • Obey the speed limit: lower speeds will give a driver more time to react to unexpected animal movement.
  • If a collision is unavoidable, do not swerve! Apply the brakes gently to lessen the energy of the crash.

AAA Northeast says, "Motorists should be especially vigilant at night. From October to December 2016, 84 percent of deer crashes occurred during darkness." Another way to prevent collisions with any animal, especially a deer, is to avoid texting while driving.

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