ALBANY -- New York is a warning drivers to beware of deer this fall.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Environmental Conservation said this time of year is when deer are the most active and cause the most car accidents.
“Motorists need to be aware that deer are more likely to be present on the roads at this time of year, and drivers should be especially alert as they travel,” said the DMV’s deputy commissioner Terri Egan.
The state agencies said New York has roughly 65,000 collisions between deer and vehicles each year.
But there are some things that can help prevent deer accidents this fall.
Here's six tips, according to the agencies:
If you see a deer on the side of the road, slow down.
Deer are easily spooked and have a habit of bolting into traffic and changing directions quickly.
By decreasing your speed, you have more time to react if a deer runs out in front of you.
Wait for more
It's not about just slowing down if you see one deer crossing the road.
Deer tend to travel in groups. So if you see one, there is a good that it is not alone.
So make sure to look for more oncoming deer.
The state also recommends that if you see a deer on the street that you break firmly and don’t try to swerve away.
Swerving into another lane increases a driver’s chance of hitting another car or going off the road. Breaking, when possible, can give the deer and the driver a chance to get away safely.
Check the signs
Extra caution should be taken on roads with deer-crossing signs. There's a reason those signs are there, after all. The signs are put in places where cars have hit deer in the past, and drivers should expect to see an abundance of deer in those areas.
If you should collide with a deer while driving, it's important to keep away from it. A scared or hurt deer is still able to hurt you with its sharp hooves if you get too close to it. The best thing to do after hitting a deer is to get your car and find a safe place if possible.
Pulling over to the side of the road and turning on your hazard lights will allow other vehicles to avoid running into you or your car.
If you hit a deer
The next thing to do after hitting a deer is to call the police. It’s important to report the accident, and let the authorities know if the deer is blocking traffic. If there is more than $1,000 in property damage, you have to file an official report. You should also look to see if your vehicle is safe before you drive it again.
That includes checking for any leaking fluids, broken lights or flat tires.
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