Deer-vehicle collisions decline
The odds that an individual driver in the U.S. will crash into a deer during the next year have declined by 4.3 percent.
Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm calculates the chances of any single American motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 174, compared with 1 in 167 the year before.
Among the 41 states where these confrontations are most likely, the decline in likelihood is particularly notable in North Dakota (24.8 percent) and Nebraska (22 percent).
Minnesota ranks sixth on the list, the same as last year. In Minnesota, the chance of a motorist hitting a deer in the coming year is 1 in 80.
Deer-vehicle confrontations are most probable in West Virginia, 1 in 41, an 8.3 percent improvement from the West Virginia likelihood ratio of a year ago.
The state in which deer-vehicle mishaps are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 6,787). The odds of a driver in Hawaii colliding with a deer between now and 12 months from now are approximately equal to the odds of a middle-of-the-pack National Football League team running off 13 wins in a row.
WHEN DO DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS OCCUR?
State Farm’s data shows that November, the heart of the deer hunting and mating seasons, is the month during which deer-vehicle encounters are most likely.
Deer-vehicle collisions are three times more likely to occur on a day in November than they are on any day between February 1 and August 31.
October is the second most likely month for a crash involving a deer and a vehicle. December is third.
The average property damage cost of these incidents during the final half of 2012 and the first half of 2013 was $3,414, up 3.3 percent from the year before.
AVOIDING DEER-VEHICLE MISHAPS
Here are tips from the Insurance Information Institute on how to reduce the odds of a deer-vehicle confrontation:
• 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.