More Deer Are on Roads Now Than Any Other Time of Year
Find out which states have the highest risk of deer-car collisions
Fall is deer mating season, which means the deer population is on the move. Unfortunately, many of those deer end up on roads. More deer-vehicle collisions happen in the fall than any other time of year, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says there are more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in 150 human deaths and $1 billion in vehicle damage.
State Farm Insurance says one out of 169 drivers will file a claim after hitting a deer, moose or elk in 2015.
Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, used State Farm's data to identify the states with the highest risk of hitting a deer. West Virginia took first place. You're least likely to hit a deer in Hawaii. Find your state in the infographic below.
I hit a deer with my car many years ago, when I was a senior in high school. I was driving down a dark farm road, alone in my 1991 Pontiac sedan. I saw the deer only a fraction of a second before my car made contact. It was impossible to react in time. He rolled over the passenger side of my hood before his head and antlers came crashing through the passenger side window. It was an eight-point buck. The police officer who responded to the accident said if I had had a passenger, they likely would have been killed. (That same police officer also joked that I killed Bambi. To this day I can’t bear to watch the movie or read the book, which is sad enough to begin with.)
Geico offers these seven tips to avoid ending up in a deer-induced wreck, as I did:
1. Deer are pack animals, so if you see one, know that there
are likely more nearby.
2. They’re most active at dawn and dusk, when it can be difficult for drivers to see.
3. Always wear your seat belt, which can reduce injuries if you do hit an animal.
4. Slow down if you see “deer crossing” road signs.
5. If you’re on a multi-lane road, travel in the center lane if there is one.
6. If you see a deer, brake firmly but stay in your lane. Swerving could cause you to lose control, and the animal may dart in the same direction as your swerve.
7. Honk your horn to scare away deer.