Oh Deer, Fall Brings Increase in Deer Crashes in RI

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

 

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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 data provided from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (RIDEM) 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 after sundown where more than 80 percent of deer crashes after dusk. 

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Crashes are most common from 5-7 p.m., during evening rush hours.

According to the RIDEM, anyone who strikes a deer should exercise caution when approaching a deer that has been hit, as it may only be stunned, and a person could become seriously injured by a wounded animal's attempt to escape.

“In accordance with state law, any deer-vehicle collision must be reported to DEM's 24-hour dispatch office at 222-3070, as well as to local police and the driver's insurance company. Though small consolation, the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident may choose to keep the deer with a permit from DEM. The owner may request a permit when calling the 24-hour dispatch office to report the accident,” said RIDEM

“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.”

Here are some 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.

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 data provided from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (RIDEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife.

 
 

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