The New York State Thruway Authority and New York State Troop T are reminding motorists of the danger of deer season with their annual "Antler Alert." Most deer-vehicle collisions occur from October through December.
"Fall is here and deer are highly active and on the move, so wear your seatbelts, slow down and drive cautiously," said Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison. "Scan the roadway, keep an eye on the shoulders and remain attentive for deer on or approaching the highway. Deer are unpredictable, and by obeying the speed limit and avoiding distractions, motorists can greatly reduce the chances of a vehicle-deer accident."
"The safety of every motorist is our top priority," said State Police Troop Sgt. Thomas Ferritto. "Be aware of your surroundings on the highway. Take the extra step by keeping free of distractions. Vehicle-deer accidents can cause serious injury, so it is essential that drivers be on the look-out for deer."
Although the Thruway Authority maintains an excellent safety record and uses deer crossing signs at locations with a higher-than-average history of vehicle-deer collisions, more than 2,200 of these incidents occurred along the Thruway in 2011.
The Thruway Authority offers these tips for motorists:
•Deer are more active during evening, dusk and dawn.
•Scan shoulders of the roadside for deer eyes reflecting light.
•Using high beams and sounding horn may help to repel deer, but won't necessarily prevent a collision.
•Slow down when approaching deer standing at the roadside, as they may run into oncoming traffic.
•Always wear your seatbelt.
•Deer often move in groups. Where there's one, there may be more.
•If you see a deer, brake firmly. The most serious vehicle-deer accidents occur when drivers veer at high speeds, and strike another vehicle or go off the road.
•Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer. This can confuse deer and possibly cause them to go into the roadway.
•If you are involved in a vehicle-deer collision, do not attempt to approach or touch the deer.
If a vehicle-deer accident occurs, motorists should make every attempt to drive their vehicle as far off the highway as possible, park on the right shoulder, activate their four-way hazard flashers, and stay in the vehicle and wait until help arrives. Motorists traveling on the Thruway can report an accident by calling 911 or the Thruway Authority's emergency number at 1-800-842-2233.
Additional traveler safety tips are available on the Thruway Authority website at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/safety/drivingsafety.html. To receive TRANSalerts, emails that provide real-time information on Thruway traffic conditions, visit http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml. To see the map of webcam views of the Thruway, visit http://www.thruway.ny.gov/traverls/map/inex.html?layer=cameras.