NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Two North Country counties ranked in the top ten for animal crashes in 2020, according to a AAA study.
According to AAA, the deer population is active during the fall months due to the start of hunting seasons and deer mating season. AAA analyzed data and found that October, November, and December are by far the peak months for animal crashes, notably deer, in the Empire State.
The company also discovered that there were 33,956 animal-related crashes statewide in 2020, which was the second-highest level in the past decade. To put it into perspective, the number is equivalent to one animal-related crash every 16 minutes.
Out of the top ten counties for animal crashes St. Lawrence was ranked 6th with 1,196 crashes and Jefferson County was ranked 8th with 1,142 crashes. The full list is as follows:
- Orange: 1,427
- Suffolk: 1,311
- Monroe: 1,310
- Oneida: 1,279
- Ontario: 1,206
- St. Lawrence: 1,196
- Ulster: 1,143
- Jefferson: 1,142
- Dutchess: 1,015
- Onondaga: 970
To combat these numbers in 2021, AAA released several tips for drivers to stay safe during the fall season. The company advised drivers to be extra cautious after dark since deer crashes often occur outside of daylight hours, commonly during the early morning and evening once it gets dark.
The Director of Public Relations at AAA Western and Central New York Eliza-beth Carey said it’s important that drivers pay close attention to the road to avoid crashes.
“Drivers should always be on the lookout for hazards on the road, but the danger of deer increases every fall,” Carey said. “Car-deer collisions can be both deadly and costly. Drivers should pay close attention, avoid distractions and scan the road for deer when traveling on area roadways.”
The company also suggested drivers scan the road, especially the shoulders, and follow the speed limit to give themselves time to respond to unexpected wildlife movements. If drivers cannot avoid a crash they should apply their brakes and remain in their lane. This reaction will avoid a possibly more serious crash.