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Be on the lookout for deer while driving

TRI-COUNTY AREA—This is the time of year for area drivers to be careful watching for deer on the road.
However, there are no “problem spots” local authorities can point to locations that are likely to be the site of an accident. Yates County Chief Deputy Howard Davis said a lot occur on state and county roads, but accidents are “sporadic.” He added more accidents happen along these roads in rural areas, where deer run free. Town roads are also in more rural areas.
“(Accidents) could happen on Route 14 anywhere between Starkey and Benton Line,” he said as an example.
“There’s no pattern, they’re all over the county,” said Schuyler County Sheriff Bill Yessman. “There’s no real hotspot.”
He too said the majority of deer related accidents happen on state highways, followed by county roads. Yessman said any area with a high speed limits is likely to have more accidents. Darkness can also assist in creating an accident. He added, “at night, you can be on top of the deer before you know it.”
Yessman said the department used to know which areas would experience a lot of accidents. However, he explained construction and road work change the deer’s living and traveling patterns.
“Two (accidents) are not even close to the same location,” he said while reviewing accidents from the last year.
Yessman said last year, the sheriff’s department handled 360 car-deer accidents. Davis said the yearly average of car-deer accidents for Yates was lower, at 242. The Yates Sheriff’s office has almost handled that many this year, with 210 deer related accidents.
According to the New York State Department of Transportation, the peak breeding season for deer is October to December. DOT adds drivers should be most watchful while driving at dusk and dawn. Where there is one deer, there are usually several more.




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