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New York State Thruway Authority

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Media Relations and Communications
(518) 471-5300

For immediate release: October 10, 2013
Contact: Colin Brennan (518) 471-5300

ANTLER ALERT: THRUWAY AUTHORITY ADVISES
 MOTORISTS OF DEER SEASON DANGERS
Safety Tips Offered

The New York State Thruway Authority and New York State Police Troop T are reminding motorists of the dangers of deer season with the semi-annual “Antler Alert.”

Deer become more active and are more frequently present along the roadside in the spring and fall. Most deer-vehicle collisions on the Thruway occur May through June and October through November, according to the Thruway Authority and the State Police Troop T.

One element that contributed to making 2012 the safest year in Thruway history was the use of deer crossing signs at locations with a higher-than-average history of vehicle-deer collisions. In 2012, 2,053 incidents occurred along the Thruway. This year, the Thruway is on track for fewer such collisions with only 965 incidents occurring through August.

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 active at dawn and dusk.
  • Scan shoulders of the roadside for deer eyes reflecting light.
  • One deer crossing the road may indicate others are about to cross. Watch for other deer – they will move fast to catch up with leaders, mothers, or mates and may not pay attention to traffic.
  • Do not rely on high beams or honking your horn to warn deer.
  • Deer often use woodlots, fencerows, field edges or areas near water. Extra caution is needed when these habitats are close to the Thruway.
  • Always buckle your seat belt. Ejection from a vehicle is the main reason that fatalities occur in a collision.
  • Deer hooves slip on pavement and a deer may fall in front of your vehicle just when you think it is jumping away.
  • Increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars, especially at night. If the car ahead of you hits a deer, you may also become involved in the accident.
  • If a collision is unavoidable, hold onto the steering wheel; do not swerve to avoid hitting the deer. Bring the 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-deer accident occurs, motorists should make every attempt to drive their vehicles as far off the highway as possible, park on the right shoulder, activate four-way hazard flashers, and stay in the vehicle and wait until help arrives. Motorists traveling on the Thruway can report an accident by calling 911 or the Thruway Authority’s emergency number at 1-800-842-2233.

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

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Thruway travelers are encouraged to visit www.Thruway.ny.gov  for real-time traffic updates.

Motorists can also sign up for TRANSAlert emails regarding thruway traffic conditions at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml or follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter.

To see an interactive map including Google traffic conditions for the Thruway and other roadways in New York State and beyond, go to: http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/map/index.html?layer=traffic.

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