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Deer-related crashes in Schenectady and Saratoga Counties

Two recent motorcycle crashes in Schenectady and Saratoga Counties have involved deer and prompted State Police to release some safety guidelines.

On a rural stretch of road in Schenectady County, a motorcyclist hit a deer in the roadway. Both the driver and passenger were ejected, with the driver striking a guard rail. In this case, the driver's leg was amputated. The passenger was also injured.

In another case, a motorcyclist traveling at a high rate of speed on I-87 in Saratoga County stuck a deer in the road, resulting in injuries to both the driver and passenger, both of whom were airlifted to a hospital.

Both of these cases occurred in the early morning hours, a time when deer are particularly active, said police.

State Police are reminding all motorcyclists that deer and other animals pose a significant risk because the behavior of animals is unpredictable. In 2008, in New York State there were 369 motorcycle crashes involving animals; four resulted in a fatality, 326 in injuries and only 39 resulted in property damage only, according to information from the State Police.

Some precautions riders can keep in mind to reduce their risk of exposure are:

-Deer are most active around dawn and dusk.

-Pay attention to warning signs regarding deer.

-Drive at speeds that are reasonable and prudent.

-Deer often travel together in groups if you see one, expect more.

-If you see deer on or near the road, expect that they will act unpredictably.

-Pay attention when other vehicles are driving differently, which may mean they are avoiding deer ahead.

-Sound the horn on your motorcycle.

-Do not flash your headlight as this may further confuse the animal.

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