Don’t veer to avoid a deer, how to stay safe on the road


CORNING, NY (WETM) – Every year there are roughly 60,000-70-000 deer-vehicle car accidents in the State of New York according to the NY Department of Transportation.

This is the peak season for these accidents, which starts in October and will continue for at least another month, according to officials. Bath Police Chief, Chad Mullen says warns drivers not to veer to avoid a deer.

“It’s not good to serve because then you are going to get into a more of a major accident,” said Mullen. “You swerve and something worse could happen. That’s where a lot of the accidents happen where people get hurt badly because they are trying to swerve and then they hit something else, if you hit a deer you are going to hit a deer you know what I mean? It’s better to break.”

The New York State Department of Transportation has a list of ways that people can try to stay safe while on the road:

  • Use caution when driving at dawn or dusk and scan roads and roadsides ahead;
  • Reduce your speed at night and use high beams when possible;
  • Be sure all vehicle occupants wear seat belts and children are properly restrained in child safety seats;
  • Slow down when approaching deer or moose standing near the roadside, as they may suddenly bolt into the road;
  • Deer and moose often travel in pairs or groups, so if deer or moose are spotted crossing the road, slow down and be alert that others may follow;
  • Briefly use flashers or a headlight signal to warn approaching drivers when deer or moose are spotted in or near the highway;
  • Be especially alert and use caution when traveling through frequent deer or moose crossing areas, which are usually marked with “leaping stag” or moose signs;
  • Do not rely on devices, such as deer whistles, extra lights or reflectors, to deter deer. Research has shown that your best defense is your own responsible behavior;
  • Motorcyclists should be especially alert for deer as motorcycle-deer collisions have a higher fatality rate; and
  • If a deer does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to strike a pedestrian or potentially deadly fixed object, such as a tree or utility pole.

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