October through December is the time of year when most crashes between vehicles and deer are most likely to happen. In 2019 there were 838 such crashes for the year throughout Rhode Island, according to figures provided AAA Northeast by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.
The top five communities in Rhode Island for deer crashes for all of 2019, are:
- South Kingstown (61 deer crashes)
- Coventry (58)
- Tiverton (58)
- North Kingstown (54)
- East Greenwich (45)
Motorists should be especially vigilant after dark. More than 80 percent of deer crashes occur outside of daylight hours. Crashes were most common from 5-7 p.m., during evening rush hour and when darkness has just set in.
“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 Senior Manager of Public Affairs. “Deer present dangers to themselves, vehicles and vehicle occupants, so it behooves everybody to be prepared.”
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.
- If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane; swerving sharply can cause an even more serious crash.