Traffic tipsby jmaloni
Taken from Nov. 8 Island Dispatch
It is that time of year when it is important to watch for deer, while driving. Deer breeding and hunting season is upon us and deer are very active.
With a statewide deer population of approximately 900,000, there are an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 deer-vehicle collisions that occur throughout New York State each year.
To avoid a collision with a deer, drivers should reduce speed and watch for their presence on or near the highway. Here are more specific precautions to help prevent such accidents:
•Use caution when driving at dawn or dusk and scan roads and roadsides ahead;
•Reduce your speed at night and use high beams when possible;
•Be sure all vehicle occupants wear seat belts and children are properly restrained in child safety seats;
•Slow down when approaching deer or moose standing near the roadside, as they may suddenly bolt into the road;
•Deer often travel in pairs or groups, so if deer are spotted crossing the road, slow down and be alert that others may follow;
•Briefly use flashers or a headlight signal to warn approaching drivers when deer are spotted in or near the highway;
•Be especially alert and use caution when traveling through frequent deer crossing areas, which are usually marked with "leaping stag";
•Do not rely on devices, such as deer whistles, extra lights or reflectors, to deter deer. Research has shown that your best defense is your own responsible behavior;
•Motorcyclists should be especially alert for deer as motorcycle-deer collisions have a higher fatality rate; and
•If a deer does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to strike a pedestrian or potentially deadly fixed object, such as a tree or utility pole.