Fall is the time of year with the highest risk for a vehicle-deer collision, with November being the riskiest month. The months with the most crash deaths coincide with fall breeding season. Fatal crashes are most likely to occur in rural areas and on roads with speed limits of 55 mph or higher, typical of the roads in Franklin County. The state Department of Transportation and local highway departments place deer warning signs in areas that are prone to deer collisions, but a deer can run into the road any time anywhere.
Pay full attention to your driving - distracted driving makes you much more vulnerable to hitting a deer or other animal.
Following are tips from state DEC for motorists to help avoid a car/deer crash:
Use extreme caution if driving at dawn and dusk, when deer are most active and visibility is poor. Deer are most active during peak commuter traveling times.
The risk of deer/vehicle collisions is greatest during autumn and early winter. Two thirds of these crashes occur in October, November and December when deer movements peak due to the onset of the breeding season.
Slow down when approaching deer standing near roadsides. Deer may "bolt" or change direction at the last minute.
If you see a deer cross the road, slow down and use extreme caution. Deer often travel in groups - if you see one, expect more.
Use hazard flashers or a headlight signal to warn other drivers when deer are spotted on or near the road.
Use caution and be alert when passing through areas marked with deer crossing signs.
Additional helpful tips:
If you hit a deer, call 911 and wait for law enforcement. If there's no cell-phone service, it's permissible to leave the scene to call police, then return.