If you’re an Island driver, you might want to drive more cautiously around the borough because deer-vehicle collisions are on the rise.
In 2018, the New York City Police Department recorded 103 deer-vehicle collisions around the Island---a 5 percent increase from the previous 98 collisions in 2017, and a 232 percent increase from 31 collisions in 2015.
However, the Parks Department says that the number of collisions recorded by the NYPD includes collisions where vehicles come in direct contact with deer or crashes caused by deer.
The agency said that as of Dec. 14, 2018, the number of crashes “exclusively involving motor vehicles hitting deer” stood at 67.
The latest count comes as the city is just about finished with what has now become a $4.1 million, three-year effort to curb the Island’s deer population by performing vasectomies on male deer.
While some injuries were reported, the NYPD said none of the deer strikes in 2018 caused motorist or passenger fatalities. And most of those strikes occurred in the 123 and 121 precincts.
As of Nov. 1, 2018, the Department of Sanitation removed 201 deer carcasses from the Island.
Not just drivers, but auto body repair shops around the Island have told the Advance they have been fixing more and more vehicles in recent years that have crashed into deer.
One Mid-Island auto body shop said it received three different cars hit by deer in just a week's time.
Auto body shops said the price tag for repairing vehicles damaged by deer range anywhere from $5,000 to as high as $10,000 or more.
To tackle the uptick in collisions, the city has been installing more deer vehicle crossing signs in high-risk areas and stepped up advertising to better educate New York City residents about how to safely coexist with animals like deer.
City Hall Says Uptick Is Increase in Reporting---Not Actual Collisions
The city also said that the NYPD began “systematically” tracing deer strikes in 2016 and that a “deer” category was later added to vehicle accident reports for the agency to record those types of accidents onsite and in real time.