Central New York drivers need to buckle up and watch for deer.

According to AAA Northeast, Oneida County had the fourth most car-deer accidents in New York State in 2016.

From October to December,t here were 9,720 crashes involving deer statewide - equivalent to one crash every fifteen minutes.

AAA says motorists should be especially vigilant after dark.

84 percent of deer crashes occurred outside daylight hours and were most common from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

AAA offers the following 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 to avoid an animal can cause an even more serious crash.

"Drivers should always be on the lookout for hazards on the road, but the danger of deer is particularly acute in the fall," said Ed Welsh, Regional General Manager for AAA Northeast. "Deer present dangers to themselves, to your vehicle, and to your person, so it behooves everybody to be prepared."