The agency estimates that 1.23 million deer-car collisions happened in the U.S. between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, putting the probability of a motorist-deer accident at 1 in 171, up from the previous year’s odds of 1 in 183. This means the cost of claims is also on the rise, with the average deer damage claim at $3,305 — 4.4% higher than the previous year.
Motorists in West Virginia have it the worst; for the sixth year, the state tops the list for the most deer-motorist collisions. State Farm’s research shows that the chances of a West Virginia motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months are 1 in 40. In second place is South Dakota, followed by Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania. You’re least likely to hit a deer if you live in Hawaii.
Click the image below to launch a larger photo.
State Farm offers the following tips for reducing the odds of a deer-car accident:
- Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds — if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
- Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.
- Remember that deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
- Use high-beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
- If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Don’t rely on car-mounted deer whistles.