State Farm released its annual deer claim study on September 19th. The 2015-2016 study ranks states by the potential a driver in that state had of hitting a large animal (i.e., deer, elk, moose, etc.).
Top 10 Deer Collision States 2015-2016
- West Virginia – 1 in 41 drivers (up 5.4%)
- Montana – 1 in 58 drivers (up 9.1%)
- Pennsylvania – 1 in 67 drivers (up 5.8%)
- Iowa – 1 in 68 drivers (down 1.4%)
- South Dakota – 1 in 70 drivers (up 4.7%)
- Wisconsin – 1 in 77 drivers (no change)
- Minnesota – 1 in 80 drivers (up 1.3%)
- Michigan and Wyoming – 1 in 85 drivers (up 14.1% and 17.6%, respectively)
- Mississippi – 1 in 87 drivers (up 1.1%)
- South Carolina – 1 in 93 (up 2.2%)
Minnesota Deer Collision on the Rise
According to the report, the chance a driver within the state of Minnesota had of hitting a deer in 2015-2016 increased 1.3% from the 2014-2015 findings. There are two reasons for this increase in collisions. For one, the deer population is larger. We had a very mild winter last year, which allowed the population to grow. Additionally, distracted driving has increased. As technology advances, drivers continue to use various forms and devices while simultaneously attempting to operate a vehicle.
Deer Avoidance Tips
Deer collisions tend to soar from October to January—November being the worst month—due to mating season and harsher road conditions. Here are a couple tips from State Farm to help you steer clear:
- Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn
- If you see one deer, be prepared for more to cross the road
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs
- Always buckle up, every trip, every time
- Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic
- Brake if you can, but avoid swerving, which could result in a more severe crash
- Remain focused on the road, scanning for hazards, including animals
- Avoid distractions, like devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal
- Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven effective
- If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep focus on the road ahead
Being the most aware driver in the world doesn’t always save you from avoiding a collision with an animal. Be sure that you’re properly insured before it’s too late.
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