Did you know that deer sightings increase during fall due to mating season occurring between October and December every year? While it’s always amazing spotting these beautiful animals, especially during peak fall foliage season, it can be scary for drivers when they unpredictably run out onto the road. Because of this, deer activity on and near New York State’s roadways can pose serious traffic hazards, and out of New York’s 65,000 annual deer-vehicle collisions, most occur during these three months. Here are some top defensive driving tips to keep in mind this fall and winter so you can stay as safe as possible while behind the wheel.
Stay alert, especially during times of less visibility
One of the best ways to drive defensively is to ensure you are staying alert at all times and avoiding distractions. Being especially alert during times of less visibility and in areas where there are deer sightings often can make all the difference. Safety behind the wheel is paramount and the text message, meal, and other distractions can and should wait until you come to a complete stop. If you are alert and spot a deer coming to or on the roadway, you can react quickly and effectively, sparing you and the deer from a potentially deadly collision.
Slow down in areas where there are often deer
Deer crossing signs are posted for a reason and they should not be ignored. When you see these and when you are in areas where there are often deer like near woods, parks, and streams, it’s a good idea to slow down so you have a better chance of avoiding a collision. Your reduced speed can also be extremely helpful if you do come into contact with a deer because their movements tend to be unpredictable, and it allows you time and space to make safe driving decisions.
Pay close attention during sunrise and sunset
Deer love to visit their favorite watering holes during sunrise and sunset, which makes these times of day busier when it comes to deer traffic on and near the roadway. According to Tom Langen, a professor of biology at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, collisions with deer are about eight times more frequent at dusk or dawn – when the deer are most active and motorists’ ability to spot them is poorest – than during daylight hours.
Unfortunately, these times often overlap with commuting to and from work or school and are also busy times on the road. With this in mind, pay close attention to the sides of the road and all potential hazards if you are out driving around these times of day. Remember, deer often travel in groups, so when you see one there are likely more following.
Personal Injury Attorney on Long Island who can help if you need it
Accidents can happen to even the safest, most alert drivers, and if you are injured in a collision with a deer, it’s important that you get the help you need. If you have any questions about an accident or an injury due to a collision with a deer, Mark T. Freeley is here to help. Give Mark a call at 631-495-9435 to discuss your accident and gain peace of mind that you’re in good hands.