October through December is the time of year when crashes between vehicles and deer are most likely. In 2021 there were 1,285 such crashes for the year throughout Rhode Island, according to figures provided to AAA Northeast by the Department of Environmental Management. It is notable that every city and town in Rhode Island had a deer struck by a vehicle last year, including one crash in Central Falls.
The top ten communities in Rhode Island for deer crashes for all of 2021, are:
North Kingstown (115 deer crashes)
South Kingstown (99)
East Greenwich (59)
Motorists should be especially vigilant at dusk and after dark. More than 80 percent of deer crashes occur outside of daylight hours. Crashes are most common from 6 pm – 8 pm before the clock change; and during the 5 pm – 7 pm period when we switch to Standard Time.
“Drivers should always be on the lookout for hazards on the road, but the danger of deer is particularly acute in the fall,” said Diana Gugliotta, AAA Northeast Director of Public Affairs. “Deer present dangers to themselves, vehicles and vehicle occupants, so it behooves everybody to be vigilant. Crashes with deer can be very costly and even deadly.”
AAA offers these tips for avoiding or mitigating deer crashes:
Scan the shoulders of the road in front of you; deer may dash out from the shoulder or wooded areas adjacent to the road.
Follow the speed limit; keeping your speed down will give you more time to respond to unexpected wildlife movements.
Be careful rounding curves and climbing hills where visibility is limited.
One long blast on your horn may frighten animals away from your car if you spy them early enough.
If you spy one deer, look out for others. Deer rarely travel alone.
Use your high beams along dark roadways if there is no oncoming traffic.
If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane; swerving sharply can cause an even more serious crash.
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