More animals have been hit by drivers last year than any year in the past decade in the state of New York, according to data analysis by AAA.
There were over 36,400 crashes involving animals in the state in 2019, state data show. The number of animal crashes was not only at a recording high in 2019 but it has been increasing over the past five years. Last year's number was 10% more than the reported number in 2018.
The majority of the crashes were found in Orange County, according to the analysis, with more than 1,600 incidents. The second was in St. Lawrence County, followed by Suffolk County.
There are no clear record of the species of the animals involved in crashes but New York state data in previous years found that deers were the majority, AAA said.
Deers cause the greatest danger for drivers because of their size and weight, AAA spokesperson Robert Sinclair Jr. said.
“Striking a deer can be extremely dangerous, with the animal possibly going through the windshield, seriously injuring or killing the driver and passengers,” Sinclair Jr. said, adding that animal crashes led to hundreds of injuries and 12 deaths last year.
Crashes are more common during the fall and winter months and at night, AAA said.