By examining claims data, State Farm Insurance has estimated that between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009, 2.4 million cars collided with deer in the U.S. That’s 10,000 collisions per month, and a full 15% higher than the number from only five years prior. Most collisions take place in the late months of the year and at night.
Among the states where deer collisions are the most significant (at least 7,000 per year), New Jersey and Nebraska have had the largest increase in percentage, with 54% each. Kansas was a close runner-up at 41%.
For the third year running, West Virginia is the state where the risk of hitting a deer is the highest per vehicle. State Farm places the odds of hitting a deer in West Virginia at 1 in 39.
The average property damage cost of each incident is $3,050, and deer collisions cause more than 150 road fatalities in the U.S. each year.
“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.”
Not surprisingly, the state in which you are least likely to hit a deer is Hawaii, where the odds are 1 in 9,931.
Photo courtesy of bertdennisonphotography under the Creative Commons License.