Car vs. deer crashes in Oneida County

AAA reports Oneida County among the highest counties in the country for car-deer crashes.

Posted: Oct. 10, 2018 5:55 PM
Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 9:17 AM

Mark Mercurio, the owner of Mercurio’s Auto Repair & Collision, has not only fixed numerous vehicles involved in car-deer crashes, but has also hit a few himself.

"The few deer I’ve hit over the year’s usually come on you real fast," Mercurio said. "By the time you see the deer and you hit the brake, you hit it."

It often happens fast, and it may sound crazy, but trying to avoid the deer is usually worse. Mercurio says, "I’ve seen a lot of people over the years swerve and get in a lot worse accidents because of deer hits. You just got to hit it. You got to hit it straight. You hit the brakes hard and just hit the deer. That’s the only way to do it."

That advice is also coming from the people at AAA’s Regional General Manager Northeast, Ed Welsh.

"Our emergency reaction is evasive to try to get out of the way, and with the deer we’re telling you the totally opposite," Welsh said. "We’re telling you to grab ahold of the wheel and just stay in your lane."

AAA is advising people to follow the speed limits so you’ll have a better chance to respond to a crash. Scan the shoulders of the road for deer, and be particularly alert during the hours of dawn and dusk.

A Subaru owner had a deer come and hit the windshield, then it impacted the roof. It’s going to cost them between $3,000 and $4,000 to have fixed, but Welsh tells us how an impact with a deer can be more than financial.

"It’s the cost of the life of the animal, certainly the cost of what happens to your car, psychological cost of the person driving the car, the passenger of the car being subjected to hitting the deer and the aftermath of that, and then of course you have to get your car fixed," Welsh said.

If you should happen to hit a deer, pull off to the shoulder of the road as soon as it’s safe, call 9-1-1, and do not attempt to approach the deer.

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