Drivers urged to watch for deer on highways this time of year
According to data released by State Farm, the nation’s leading auto insurer, November, the heart of the deer migration and mating season, is the month during which deer-vehicle encounters are most likely.
More than 18 percent of all such mishaps take place during the 30 days of November. However, for the third consecutive year, the number of deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. has dropped.
Deer-vehicle collisions are three times more likely to occur on a day in November than they are on any day between Feb. 1 and Aug. 31.
October is the second most likely month for a crash involving a deer and a vehicle. December is third.
For the fifth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to run in to a deer.
Iowa remains second on the list. The likelihood of a licensed driver in Iowa hitting a deer within the next year is 1 in 77. South Dakota (1 in 81) moves up one place to third. Nebraska is also listed among high risk states for striking deer.
“State Farm has a long history of supporting auto safety,” said Laurette Stiles, State Farm vice president of strategic resources. “Calling attention to potential hazards like this one is part of our DNA. While we can’t put our finger directly on what’s causing a decline in deer-vehicle collisions, we’d like to think media attention to our annual report on this subject has had at least a little bit to do with it.”
Tips on how to reduce the odds of a deer-vehicle collision:
• 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 head lamps 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 one is seen, 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 a driver to lose control of a vehicle or place them in the path of an oncoming vehicle.