According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), there are approximately 1.5 million deer-related car accidents annually, leading to 175 to 200 fatalities each year. Of course, this number pales in comparison to the number of human pedestrians killed in traffic accidents each year (4,700), but in certain areas of the country, deer collisions are a real threat.
Rochester is one of those areas. In fact, according to a study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Rochester is the number one location in New York state outside of New York City — and the number five location in the U.S. — for car collisions with deer. The study reveals that between 2014 and 2017, Rochestarians filed 1,929 insurance claims because of vehicle damage caused by animals, and 91% of those animals were deer. And these collisions seem to be growing more common each year; 507 of those insurance claims were filed in 2017 alone. Only New York City recorded more car-animal collision claims than Rochester in the state of New York. Below you’ll find the top 10 list:
San Antonio, TX — 3,945
Austin, TX — 2,452
New York City, NY — 2,442
Pittsburgh, PA — 2,115
Rochester, NY — 1,929
Baltimore, MD — 1,896
Charlotte, NC — 1,816
Kansas City, MO — 1,780
Los Angeles, CA — 1,620
Houston, TX — 1,613
For Rochester residents, this data shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s painfully obvious as we make our daily commutes that deer collisions increase dramatically in October and peak in November, coinciding with the height of the deer mating season. And as the deer populations grow and urban environments encroach upon rural habitats, the animals become increasingly displaced. It’s projected that in the next 50 years, at least 17 million acres of forest land will be lost permanently to urbanization.
So, what can you do to avoid potentially fatal deer collisions? We’ve got a few tips:
Pay close attention during peak deer hours.
Deer are typically found roaming areas near the roads between sunset and midnight and during the hours just before and after sunrise. The low visibility during these times make driving especially dangerous. If possible, keep your high-beams on, and scan the grassy areas around the road for movement. Try to avoid driving during these hours if you suffer from visual impairment of any kind; the global population of people aged 60 and over is expected to double between 2015 and 2050, and driving at night becomes particularly risky as we age.
If you see one, keep an eye out for others.
It’s important to note that deer seldom roam alone. If you see one deer, practice caution in case others are following behind.
Do not swerve.
The leading cause of accidents from deer-related collisions are due to vehicles swerving to avoid hitting a deer. Swerving can drive vehicles into oncoming traffic, trees, and other objects, or could result in your car rolling over. Instead, slow down as much as possible, blow your horn in one long blast to scare the deer away, and if necessary, allow your car to strike the deer.
Deer-vehicle collisions can be highly dangerous and expensive. Even if an animal-car collision is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance, it’s always better to avoid a collision in the first place.
Many of you have noticed our extended hiatus and have begun asking if this is the end for RocSubway. I didn’t think it would be necessary to say anything about it. But for those of you who had followed this blog like religion for so long, you deserve some closure.
A little while ago I lost my job and decided to start my own web design business instead of going back to work for someone else. That was the best decision I ever made for myself. But it also means I now work pretty much nonstop with little time for anything else. What extra time I do have, I put into growing Reconnect Rochester . Reconnect is a nonprofit organization doing amazing work to change the way transportation is viewed in Monroe County. It’s something I’m very proud of. And it began with a seed planted right here.
So I’m not going away, really. I just won’t be posting much here for the foreseeable future. In the meantime you’re welcome to join me over at Reconnect . Or perhaps I’ll run into you somewhere else, helping to make our community better in your own way.
Before I sign off, I want to say thank you.
I’ve gained much more from every RocSubway reader I’ve met (virtually and in person) than what I’ve given on these pages. Always remember there are important lessons for the future buried deep within our past. Everywhere you look in this city—behind every wall and within every person—you will find a beautiful story. We’ve only scraped the surface.
On a recent trip to New York City (my previous home) I came across a poem in the subway by former U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. I cannot think of better words to close with…
As you fly swiftly underground
with a song in your ears
or lost in the maze of a book,
remember the ones who descended here
into the mire of bedrock
to bore a hole through this granite,
to clear a passage for you
where there was only darkness and stone.
Remember as you come up into the light.
Gilbert Hunt was a trolley and bus operator for Rochester Transit Corporation (the predecessor organization of RTS) from 1907 to 1948. When Gilbert retired in 1948 the Democrat & Chronicle published a story about him and his impressive collection of Rochester transit passes which he amassed over his long career. That collection is now up for grabs…
As some of you may have heard, bike share is coming to Rochester. I’ve considered writing about it all sorts of ways. I thought about mentioning how many other cities have it. Or how safe it is. Or even the specific plans for Rochester (warning: PDF). As you may have already guessed, I’m not about to do any of that. Instead, I’d like to discuss what bike share has meant for me over the past decade, and what it might mean for you too.
I don’t know of anyone in the world who loves parking—except maybe Lorraine Baines—but that’s not exactly the kind of parking I’m talking about here…
I’m talking about the hassle of cruising up and down the rows of a Wegmans parking lot, trying to squeeze in next to the hummer who decided he needed an extra couple of spaces, fighting the nine other drivers who won’t even entertain the thought of walking an extra twenty feet to pay $5 for a bottle of water.
When Andrea Chervenak received a letter earlier this year from the Town of Irondequoit notifying her that a sidewalk was being proposed for her street, she was thrilled. Unfortunately for Andrea, her neighbors’ front lawns are more important than her children’s safety. To hammer this nonsensical point home, some people even made lawn signs…
RG&E’s Beebee power plant was one of the most formidable structures in Rochester. For half a century, this cluster of buildings covered an 8 acre site along the floor of the High Falls gorge – climbing up the west rock wall and looming hundreds of feet in the air over Platt Street and the neighborhood below…
Do me a favor. If you’re at home, step outside for a moment and take a good, long look at your driveway and garage (Don’t worry, the Internet will still be here when you get back). If you don’t have a driveway or garage, step outside and catch me a Charmander!
Did you do it? Did you stare intently at your driveway/garage situation? Great! Now, think about it for a moment and answer honestly: Does your car have a bigger bedroom than you do? Seriously. What percentage of the space that you own/rent/occupy is dedicated solely to vehicular storage? Your car isn’t paying rent. Why does it get the biggest room in the house?!
What else could you do with that space the garage sits on? A jam space for your band? Art studio? Game room? Greenhouse? The possibilities are many…
The Rochester Subway stopped passenger service on June 30, 1956. To mark the 60th anniversary of the subway’s closing the New York Museum of Transportation will host a two-day weekend event filled with talks, trolley rides, demonstrations of the Subway’s fully restored “Casey Jones” speeder, food, and vendors…
This fully restored vintage Greyhound bus appeared in the movie Race, the recent film about Jesse Owens’ fight to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games where he won four gold medals. The bus will be open for visitors and tales from the restoration and filming of the bus will be told next Sunday at The New York Museum of Transportation…
There’s no real reason for this post. I was going through old family photos this weekend and stumbled upon these ones from a boat tour around Manhattan island my wife and I took in 2004. By complete coincidence we sailed directly in front of the infamous Spirit of Ontario I (a.k.a. Fast Ferry) on her maiden voyage to Rochester…
When the world’s first elevated highway was completed in 1936 along Manhattan’s west side, the New York Times marveled that “the gleaming new concrete ribbon” would let drivers travel from lower Manhattan “nearly to Poughkeepsie without having to stop for a traffic light or slow up for an intersection.” Legendary city planner and master highway builder, Robert Moses promised the new highway would “eliminate” traffic jams on the city’s west side…
Letchworth Bridge in southern Letchworth State Park celebrates its 141st birthday this year (built 1875) and will be replaced by a new steel arch bridge about 75 feet to the south. The new bridge will take approximately 3 years to complete. During that time efforts will be made to turn the original bridge into a pedestrian walkway similar to the hugely successful Poughkeepsie NY bridge crossing the Hudson River and gorge—now a New York State Park…
Last week Justin Schmidt sent us this incredible old illustration of Rochester Savings Bank. Justin writes, “I thought you would enjoy this; in my collection of Rochester ephemera, I came across this page in The American Architect (Sept. 20, 1928 issue) that shows the ‘complete’ design for the old Rochester Savings and Loan building. I never knew it was incomplete!”
Every so often we’re contacted by a lucky homeowner who discovers a neat little historical treasure hidden away in their basement or roof rafters – usually an old book or a subway token. Then there’s Bill Schmidt. When Bill purchased his home on Lake View Park this summer, he became the lucky owner of an old bell tower from the long-demolished School #7 in northwest Rochester…
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.