October 23, 2012 Its that time of year to look for deer. Although the likelihood in Ohio of bumper meeting antler has stayed relatively the same according to State Farm claims data, November is the month to be especially alert for our furry friends when on the road. Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm, the nations leading auto insurer, calculates the chances of an Ohio motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 118, compared with 1 in 127 the year before.*
Although the likelihood has increased a bit in Ohio, the state actually drops in ranking from 15th to 16th. For the sixth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to run into a deer, with those odds at 1 in 40.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety & Ohio Insurance Institute report that although such collisions are down 22,696 deer-vehicle crashes in 2011, down 2.2 percent from 2010s 23,201 reported crashes (25,146 in 2009) there were seven related fatalities and 1,031 injuries in Ohio last year. This compares to four fatalities and 1,063 injuries reported in 2010, and four deaths and 1,137 injuries in 2009.
The five counties with the highest number of reported deer-vehicle crashes in 2011 were Stark (615), Hamilton (606), Lorain (602), Richland (599) and Tuscarawas (495). Compared to 2010 figures, Lorain and Tuscarawas counties showed increases while the others reported decreases in such collisions in 2011 (2009-11 deer crashes by Ohio county). Counties reporting the fewest crashes in 2011 included Monroe (23), Noble (29), Morgan (30), Perry (40) and Harrison (43) counties. Of these, Monroe county showed an increase while the others experienced decreases in 2011.
State Farms data shows that November is the month during which deer-vehicle encounters are most likely. More than 18 percent of all such mishaps take place during the 30 days of November.
Deer-vehicle collisions are three times more likely to occur on a day in November than they are on any day between February 1st and August 31st. October is the second most likely month for a crash involving a deer and a vehicle. December is third. Also, ODPS figures show that dawn and dusk are the most dangerous times for deer.
The average property damage cost of these incidents during the final half of 2011 and the first half of 2012 was $3,305, up 4.4 percent from the year before.
According to the State Farm data, the state in which deer-vehicle mishaps are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 6,801). The odds of a driver in Hawaii colliding with a deer between now and 12 months from now are approximately equal to the odds that any one person will be struck by lightning during his or her lifetime.
State Farm has a long history of supporting auto safety, said Mullen. Calling attention to hazards like this one is part of our DNA.
Here are tips from the Insurance Information Institute on how to reduce the odds of a deer-vehicle confrontation involving your vehicle becoming part of the story we tell next year:
*A change in State Farms claims reporting process caused the number of deer-vehicle collisions reported a year ago to be understated by 5.1 percent countrywide (more in some states, less in others). Thus, comparisons between data we provided a year ago and data in this news release should not be made. Links to the corrected numbers for last year (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011) are provided.
** This encompasses first-party, collision or comprehensive coverage claims not caused by weather, criminal activity or fire and not including breakage of glass claims.
Angie Rinock, State Farm Public Affairs, (269) 207-8006
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.