EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Crashes involving deer are on the rise in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which is why AAA Northeast is reminding New England drivers to keep an eye out for them this season.
“Deer crashes can occur quickly and in unexpected locations,” AAA Northeast’s Mark Schieldrop, said. “Drivers need to be especially vigilant this time of year.”
Drivers should be especially cautious while driving after sundown, specifically between 5-8 p.m., throughout the fall and winter.
Here’s a breakdown of the numbers by state.
Data reveals there were 1,544 crashes involving deer in Rhode Island last year, which is a 20% increase from the year prior.
Here are the top 10 communities in Rhode Island with the most reported crashes involving deer between October and December:
- South Kingstown — 112
- Tiverton — 106
- Coventry — 103
- North Kingstown — 83
- Warwick — 72
- Richmond — 63
- Scituate — 63
- Glocester — 62
- Lincoln — 61
- Bristol — 59
The number of crashes involving deer in Massachusetts last year jumped to 1,806, which is the highest number on record since 2002.
An analysis of the state’s crash data revealed that is equivalent to one crash every 74 minutes, according to AAA Northeast.
Here are the top 10 communities in Massachusetts with the most reported crashes involving deer between October and December:
- Middleboro — 48
- Taunton — 39
- Swansea — 28
- Rehoboth — 22
- East Bridgewater — 20
- Seekonk — 20
- Freetown — 19
- Acushnet — 18
- Plymouth — 18
- Wareham — 18
Deer Safety Tips
AAA Northeast suggests drivers consider the following to reduce the chance of a crash involving a deer:
- 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 notice 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 try to remain in your lane and avoid other vehicles; swerving sharply can cause an even more serious crash.
- Wear your seatbelt; your chances of being injured in a deer crash are significantly higher if you don’t have your seatbelt on.
- If a crash occurs, move the vehicle to a safe location if possible and report the incident to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management by calling (401) 222-3070 or the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife at 1-800-632-8075.
- Contact your insurance company to report any damage to your car. Take photos of the damage if you can do so safely and without entering the roadway. Damage to the car from animal crashes generally falls under a driver’s comprehensive coverage.