Deer-vehicle collisions happen every 26 seconds in the U.S., and the number of hits is on the rise, according to State Farm claims data. The increasing likelihood of hitting a deer provides collision repairers with an opportunity to educate their customers about avoiding such collisions.
The insurer estimates that 2.4 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009, an average of 100,000 per month and a 5-percent increase compared to five years ago. The number of vehicles on the road has only increased by 7 percent in the past five years, the company noted. October and November, peak mating season for deer, are the most likely months for these collisions to occur.
The average property damage cost resulting from these crashes is $3,050, up 3.4 percent from a year ago, State Farm says.
In 35 states, at least 7,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur each year. New Jersey and Nebraska had a 54-percent increase in the crashes, and Kansas was next in line with a 41-percent increase.
Following are the five states where hitting a deer is most likely to occur and the odds of hitting a deer in those states:
1. West Virginia 1 in 39
2. Michigan 1 in 78
3. Pennsylvania 1 in 94
4. Iowa 1 in 104
5. Montana 1 in 104
Arkansas, South Dakota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Virginia round out the top 10, but State Farm did not provide odds for hitting a deer in those states.
Repairers can provide customers tips about how to avoid collisions with deer. Below is deer collision-avoidance advice from State Farm:
|Avoiding Collisions with Deer|
| Be aware of posted deer crossing signs they’re placed in areas where deer are active.
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 the roadway.
Deer travel in herds if one is spotted, more are likely on the way.
If a deer collision seems inevitable, don’t attempt to swerve it
For more information, visit www.statefarm.com.