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How likely are you To have a deer collision?

What you can do to try to avoid hitting animals when driving on highways and roads?

As fog cleared off the river, two deer bounded into the tall grass near the road. It’s not an uncommon sight for many drivers, especially in October, November, and December. New data shows a decline in deer collisions, however, the average cost of property damage increased. U.S. drivers were less likely, 1 in 167, to have a claim involving a collision with deer, elk, moose, or caribou than they did  the past year (1 in 162), according to the State Farm® annual deer collision study. The company estimates collisions dropped slightly to 1.33 million in the U.S. between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 — down from 1.34 million in 2017. When crashes did occur, they were costly for drivers, with a national cost per claim average of $4,341, up from $4,179 in 2017.


State

2017-18 Likelihood Of Collision With Deer

2017-18 State Ranking

2016-17 Likelihood Of Collision With Deer

2016-17 State Ranking

Percentage Change In Likelihood

Low Risk

Alaska

1 In 396

42

1 In 407

44

2.7% Increase

Arizona

1 In 1,073

48

1 In 973

49

9.3% Decrease

California

1 In 1,125

50

1 In 1,117

50

0.7% Decrease

Florida

1 In 831

46

1 In 847

47

1.9% Increase

Hawaii

1 In 6,379

51

1 In 6,823

51

7.0% Increase

Massachusetts

1 In 469

44

1 In 593

45

26.5% Increase

Nevada

1 In 1,088

49

1 In 966

48

11.2% Decrease

New Mexico

1 In 453

43

1 In 397

43

12.4% Decrease

Washington

1 In 395

41

1 In 356

42

9.8% Decrease

Medium Risk

Colorado

1 In 277

39

1 In 253

36

8.9% Decrease

Connecticut

1 In 263

37

1 In 304

40

15.7% Increase

Idaho

1 In 164

27

1 In 151

29

8.0% Decrease

Illinois

1 In 200

32

1 In 204

32

2.3% Increase

Louisiana

1 In 315

40

1 In 332

41

5.7% Increase

New Hampshire

1 In 242

35

1 In 252

35

4.1% Increase

New Jersey

1 In 232

33

1 In 229

34

1.6% Decrease

New York

1 In 165

28

1 In 161

30

2.4% Decrease

Oklahoma

1 In 165

28

1 In 194

31

17.7% Increase

Oregon

1 In 256

36

1 In 254

37

1.1% Decrease

Tennessee

1 In 173

30

1 In 143

26

17.2% Decrease

Texas

1 In 266

38

1 In 269

38

1.2% Increase

Utah

1 In 239

34

1 In 222

33

6.9% Decrease

Vermont

1 In 173

30

1 In 150

28

13.0% Decrease

High Risk

Alabama

1 In 136

22

1 In 131

23

3.8% Decrease

Arkansas

1 In 106

14

1 In 97

14

8.9% Decrease

Delaware

1 In 139

24

1 In 132

24

5.1% Decrease

District Of Columbia

1 In 883

47

1 In 713

46

19.2% Decrease

Georgia

1 In 131

19

1 In 122

18

7.1% Decrease

Indiana

1 In 147

25

1 In 145

27

1.3% Decrease

Iowa

1 In 73

5

1 In 69

4

5.3% Decrease

Kansas

1 In 130

18

1 In 127

19

2.5% Decrease

Kentucky

1 In 107

15

1 In 100

15

7.1% Decrease

Maine

1 In 135

21

1 In 127

19

5.7% Decrease

Maryland

1 In 138

23

1 In 127

19

7.8% Decrease

Michigan

1 In 80

8

1 In 85

9

5.8% Increase

Minnesota

1 In 77

7

1 In 74

7

4.8% Decrease

Mississippi

1 In 91

10

1 In 95

12

4.1% Increase

Missouri

1 In 110

16

1 In 112

17

1.6% Increase

Montana

1 In 57

2

1 In 57

2

1.3% Increase

Nebraska

1 In 149

26

1 In 134

25

10.5% Decrease

North Carolina

1 In 113

17

1 In 109

16

3.6% Decrease

North Dakota

1 In 103

13

1 In 87

10

51.9% Decrease

Ohio

1 In 134

20

1 In 128

22

4.7% Decrease

Pennsylvania

1 In 63

3

1 In 63

3

0.2% Decrease

Rhode Island

1 In 538

45

1 In 280

39

48.0% Decrease

South Carolina

1 In 98

11

1 In 95

12

3.3% Decrease

South Dakota

1 In 75

6

1 In 73

6

2.7% Decrease

Virginia

1 In 99

12

1 In 94

11

4.7% Decrease

West Virginia

1 In 46

1

1 In 43

1

7.5% Decrease

Wisconsin

1 In 72

4

1 In 72

5

0.6% Increase

Wyoming

1 In 88

9

1 In 79

8

9.4% Decrease





United States Total

1 In 167

N/A

1 In 162

N/A

2.7% Decrease


Where are Deer Collisions Most Likely?

West Virginia continues to top the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to run into a deer. Some good news for West Virginian's though, this year while West Virginia continues to be No. 1 on the top 10 list, the likelihood of having an insurance claim involving a deer was 1 in 46  — down three points from last year.

Montana (one in 57 chance of a crash), Pennsylvania (one in 63 chance of a crash), and Wisconsin also remain at the top of list. Rounding out the top 10 states where drivers are most likely to collide with large animals like deer, elk, moose or caribou are Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Wyoming, and Mississippi. The months drivers are most likely to collide with a large animal in the U.S. are (in order) November, October, and December.

How Can You Avoid Deer in Your Headlights?

The growing deer and other animal populations combined with the displacement of animal habitats are making it more dangerous on the road, and making driver crashes more likely.  

There's no real way to keep large animals like deer, moose, and elk off the road, but these important safety tips can help prevent animal-car collisions.

Tips to Avoid Animals in the Road 

  • Stay Alert. Pay attention to "deer crossing" signs and be cautious in areas near woods or water.
  • Use High Beams. Flicking your high beams on a deer in the road may cause the animal to scurry away. High beams also help illuminate dark roads.
  • Don't Swerve. If a deer-car crash is inevitable, maintain control of your vehicle and don't veer off the road.
  • Brake as Necessary. If you can avoid hitting the animal, reduce your speed, honk your horn, and tap your brakes to warn other drivers. If there are no drivers behind you, brake hard.
  • Remember Peak Season. Deer crashes happen most during October through December, which is hunting and mating season. Collisions are most likely to happen in West Virginia, Iowa, Montana, and Pennsylvania.
  • Remember Meal Time. Watch for animals in the road between dusk and dawn.
  • Watch for Herds. If you see one deer, there are probably more nearby.
  • Don't Use a Whistle. No scientific evidence supports that car-mounted deer whistles work.
  • Wear Seat Belts. Always obey speed limits and wear seat belts.

Did you know that a deer collision may be covered by comprehensive coverage? Contact your State Farm agent to learn more about comprehensive coverage.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.


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