How likely are you to hit a deer? More likely than last year

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Deer collision accidents nationwide

If you are a hunter, it is likely that you are salivating over than headline. Put away the ammo, just for now though, since I am talking about hitting that buck (or doe) with your vehicle.

Deer collision accidents nationwide

Deer collision accidents nationwide

According to statistics provided by State Farm, Texas drivers are 3.4% more likely to collide with a deer than they were in 2013, and the possibility more than doubles in October, November and December. We’re not #1 in the hit-a-deer sweepstakes, but 39th among the states. (I wonder if that is due to the dead-eye accuracy of our hunters.)

It’s no surprise that the national average cost per claim is up about 14% to $3,888, but it’s important to remember that collisions can occur with frequency in urban areas as well as rural ones since the region west of San Antonio and Austin have the highest deer density in the state, according to Alan Cain, Texas Parks and Department White-tailed Deer Program Leader.

For the eighth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list for likely collisions with odds of 1 in 39 that you can expect some vehicle damage. Texas odds are 1 in 314 with the national average of 1 in 169. No surprise: Hawaii is at the bottom of the list for the eighth year in a row with 1 in 10,281 odds, meaning that you are more likely to win something on a scratch-off lottery ticket than to even see a deer.

While I make light of the numbers, the accidents are no joke. In 2012, 175 deaths were attributable to collisions with animals — primarily deer. So, here are some tips, just as a reminder:

  • Use extra caution in known deer zones and remind people you know (who may not be as knowledgeable) that deer are everywhere, are unpredictable, generally move in groups and are most prevalent at dawn and dusk.
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Use high beams at night when there is no oncoming traffic
  • Avoid swerving when you see a deer
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles
  • If you are driving this fall in W.Virginia, start saving now to pay your deductible

 

 

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