Due to increasing deer populations, deer-related automobile accidents have risen nearly 50 percent in recent years, particularly from the months of October through December. According to a State Farm analysis published on CarInsurance.com season the likelihood of deer-automobile accidents nearly doubles at the height of mating and migration season.
Changes in deer-auto collision rates reflect things like changing deer population levels as well as the incidence of new or improved roads near deer habitat. The 10 states where the risk of hitting a deer is the highest include:
- West Virginia – 1 in 41
- Montana – 1 in 58
- Pennsylvania – 1 in 67
- Iowa – 1 in 68
- South Dakota – 1 in 70
- Wisconsin – 1 in 77
- Minnesota – 1 in 80
- (tie) Michigan and Wyoming – 1 in 85
- Mississippi – 1 in 87
The average deer strike claim is now $3,995, compared to $4,135 for 2015, according to State Farm.
Tips for avoiding deer:
- Deer usually appear near a wooded area near the roadway
- If you are in a rural area near trees, keep your speed down. It’s easier to react at a slower speed.
- Watch BOTH sides of the road.
- Use your high beans whenever possible and watch for the reflection of the eyes of deer to the sides of the road.
- If you see one, watch for “the rest of the gang.” Deer are pack animals and travel in groups
- Be aware: deer are most active at dusk and dawn.
- Don’t let your guard down at other times of the day and night
- If you see a deer near the road ahead HONK YOUR HORN REPEATEDLY
No matter where you live, it’s important to practice safe driving habits and watch out for animals, especially deer, on the road. If you were involved in a wildlife-related collision, contact a personal injury lawyer at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys online, or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.
Photo courtesy of MichaelDoerfler/Pixabay