ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) warn drivers of deer and moose likely to enter public roadways during fall months of the breeding season. According to a 2020 research study from the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety, 43% of collisions between deer and moose occurred during the three-month fall period, which spans from October through December.
The DEC says moose are most active during the hours of dawn and dust, making visibility difficult at night because of their darker coloring and height. The DEC said the bulk of their bodies and heads aren’t clearly visible above drivers’ headlights.
“I encourage drivers on New York’s roads to use extreme caution when driving during these time periods to avoid collisions with moose and deer and reduce their speed, stay alert, and watch the roadsides,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
The DEC says drivers should take precautions to reduce the chance of hitting a deer or moose by following precautions during these periods of time. Drivers can avoid collisions with moose and deer by staying alert, reducing speed, and watching roadsides.
- Decrease speed if you see deer near roadsides, that can “bolt” or change direction at the last minute
- Decrease speed if you see a deer go across the road, reminded that deer travel in groups
- Use headlight or emergency signals to warn other drivers when deer are seen on or near the road
- Watch for roadways marked with deer crossing signs
- Use extreme caution when driving at dawn or dusk
DEC warns if you see an animal on roadways, brake firmly, do not swerve as to avoid collisions with other drivers, a pole, a tree, or other objects. If you do strike an animal, wounded deer and moose are frightened, and could strike with their powerful legs and sharp hooves to harm you.
If you do hit an animal:
- Move your vehicle to a safe place, turn on your hazard lights, and stay off the road
- Alert authorities if the animal is blocking traffic and creating a threat for other drivers.
- If a collision results in injury, death or more than $1,000 in property damage, you must fill out an official crash report and send it to DMV.
- Check to see if your vehicle is safe to drive. Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, and other safety hazards.
Additionally, precautions, safety suggestions in special driving conditions, such as driving in rain, in winter, or in driving emergencies, can be found by visiting the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website.
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