The overall number of animal-vehicle crashes is on the rise, says a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The report says that State Farm has estimated 1.2 million claims industrywide for crashes with animals over a 12-month period ending June 30 of this year. State Farm says that claims for those types of crashes have increased nearly 15 percent over the past five years.
Deer are the most commonly hit animal, says the IIHS, and the cause of the increase of animal-vehicle crashes is urban sprawl overlapping into deer habitat.
The report also found that claims for collisions with animals are three times more likely in November than other months.
Deer-vehicle collisions are difficult to prevent because there are no proven countermeasures, other than fencing, “which is extremely expensive and not practical,” said Governors Highway Safety Association spokesman Jonathan Adkins.
The message from collision repair facilities to their customers should be a simple one: slow down, particularly at dusk and on rural roads.