NEW YORK (WWTI) – Road crash data analyzed by AAA shows that peak months for animal crashes are October, November and December in New York, especially for deer, according to a press release from the organization.

There were 34,064 animal crashes last year, of which 1,515 involved injuries and 5 were fatal, according to AAA.

Jefferson County had the sixth most animal crashes of all counties in New York State last year with a total of 1,217, while St. Lawrence County is number five on the list with 1,260 crashes.

The following table shows the top 10 New York counties for animal crashes in 2021.

CountyNumber of Crashes
St. Lawrence1,260

AAA warns that motorists should be especially vigilant after dark since deer crashes often happen outside daylight hours. The organization said crashes are most common near sunset.

“Drivers should always be on the lookout for hazards on the road, but the danger of deer increases every fall,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA Western and Central New York. “Car-deer collisions can be both deadly and costly. Drivers should pay close attention, avoid distractions and scan the road for deer when traveling on area roadways.”

AAA offers the following tips to avoid deer crashes:

  • Scan the road;
  • Follow the speed limit; and
  • Apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane.

Scanning the road can alert you to deer that dash out from the shoulder or wooded areas near the road. Driving at the correct speed limit will give you more time to respond to unexpended wildlife movements.

AAA advises that if you can’t avoid a collision, you should brake and stay in your lane because swerving can lead to a more serious crash.