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New York State Thruway Authority

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For Immediate Release: May 2, 2012

Antler Alert!
Thruway Authority: “Be Alert; Be Safe”

The New York State Thruway Authority is reminding motorists of a seasonal increase of deer along the highway and urges drivers to be alert while traveling.

“The safety of each commuter is our highest priority,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison. “This year’s mild, warm winter has increased the deer population along the highway’s shoulders. Drivers are encouraged to be alert along the Thruway, as vehicle versus deer accidents can cause serious injury. It is vital that drivers remain aware of their surroundings and be on the look-out for deer along the roadside.”

Motorists should be attentive wherever there are deer crossing signs posted along the Thruway. These signs indicate that, in the past, there have been frequent deer crossings in that immediate area.

The Thruway Authority offers these safety tips for motorists:

  • Be more aware of deer throughout May/June and October/November.
  • Deer are most energetic at dawn and dusk.
  • Scan shoulders of the roadside for deer eyes reflecting light.
  • Do not rely on high beams or honking your horn to warn deer.
  • Slow down when approaching deer standing at the roadside; they may run into oncoming traffic.
  • Deer often use woodlots, fencerows, field edges or areas near water. Extra caution is needed when these habitats are close to the Thruway.
  • Deer frequently travel in groups. Where there is one, there may be more.
  • Always buckle your seat belt. Ejection from a vehicle is the main reason that fatalities occur in a collision.
  • If a collision is unavoidable, hold onto the steering wheel; do not swerve to avoid hitting the deer. Bring vehicle to a complete stop. The most serious vehicle versus deer accidents occur when drivers swerve at high speeds to elude a deer, and then strike another vehicle, a tree or roll over.
  • If you are involved in a vehicle versus deer collision, do not attempt to approach or touch the deer.

If a vehicle versus deer accident occurs, motorists should make every attempt to drive their vehicle as far off the highway as possible, park on the right shoulder, activate the four-way hazard flashers, stay in the vehicle and wait until help arrives. Motorists traveling on the Thruway can report an accident by calling the Thruway Authority’s emergency number at 1-800-842-2233, or 911.

Additional traveler safety tips are available on the Thruway Authority website at www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/safety/drivingsafety.html.

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