For the third year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of those states where a collision with a deer is most likely (for any one vehicle). Using its claims data in conjunction with state motor vehicle registration counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm calculates the chances of a West Virginia vehicle striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 39. Such an encounter is even more likely in West Virginia than it was a year ago.
Michigan remains second on that list. The likelihood of a specific vehicle striking a deer there is 1 in 78. Pennsylvania (1 in 94) and Iowa (1 in 104) remain third and fourth respectively. Montana (1 in 104) moved up three places to fifth.
Arkansas and South Dakota each dropped a spot to sixth and seventh. Wisconsin remains eighth. North Dakota and Virginia round out the top 10.
The state in which deer-vehicle collisions are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 9,931). The odds of any one vehicle hitting a deer in Hawaii during the next year are roughly equivalent to the odds of randomly picking a piece of clover and finding it has four leaves.
The average property damage cost of these incidents was $3,050, up 3.4 percent from a year ago.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause more than 150 fatalities each year.
AVOIDING DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS
These collisions are more frequent during the deer migration and mating season in October, November and December. The combination of growing deer populations and the displacement of deer habitat caused by urban sprawl are producing increasingly hazardous conditions for motorists and deer.
"State Farm has been committed to auto safety for several decades and that's why we want to call attention to potential hazards like this one," said Laurette Stiles, State Farm Vice President of Strategic Resources. "We hope our updated information will inspire motorists to make safe decisions."
Here are tips on how to reduce the chances that a deer-vehicle collision involving your vehicle will be part of the story we tell in next year's version of this news release:
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.
Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds - if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles.
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.
About State Farm
State Farm® insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in theU.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,700 agents and 68,600 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 78.7 million auto fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 31 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.