• Sep 29, 2009
What do New Jersey and Nebraska have in common? If you said "absolutely nothing," you'd be right – on any other day but today. Turns out that the Garden State and the Cornhusker State share a very curious stat. Both have seen a 54 increase is the largest in the nation, which shows that the problem of deer-related car crashes isn't confined to just one location, but rather a national problem.

According to a new State Farm study, the number of cars on the road has grown by 7 in that same time period. No reason why is given in the article, but we'd wager it's a combination of 1) more deer and 2) more and more humans living closer to deer populations. The study does, however, provide some pretty eye-opening statistics.

For examples, State Farm estimates that between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009 there were 2.4 million accidents in the United States involving venison deer. In other words, that's one deer-car mashup every 26 seconds. The worst state for smashing into a deer is and remains West Virginia, where your odds of making contact with a Bambi-like creature are 1 in 39. Michigan remains second most deer-dangerous, though is twice as safe as West Virginia (odds are 1 in 78 that you'll make contact with a deer). And Montana has moved up three places in the rankings, from eighth to fifth. The safest state? Hawaii, where your odds shrink to about 1 in 10,000. Full press release with all the stats after the jump.

[Source: State Farm | Image: Hulton/Getty]



PRESS RELEASE:

Deer-Vehicle Collision Frequency Jumps 18 Percent in Five Years

WEST VIRGINIA CONTINUES TO LEAD COLLISION LIKELIHOOD LIST

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of vehicles on U.S. roadways has grown by 7 percent over the last five years. But the number of times those vehicles have collided with deer has swelled by much more than that.

Using its claims data, State Farm®, the nation's leading auto insurer estimates 2.4 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. during the two-year period between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009 (100,000 per month). That's 18.3 percent more than five years earlier. To put it another way, one of these unfortunate encounters occurs every 26 seconds (although they are much more likely during the last three months of the year and in the early evening).

MORE DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS

Among the 35 states where at least 7,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur per year (we are not including the percentage changes in the other 15 states plus D.C. because the lower volume of total collisions makes the percentage changes less credible), New Jersey and Nebraska have posted the largest increases, 54 percent. Kansas is next at 41 percent. Deer-vehicle collisions have jumped by 38 percent in Florida, Mississippi and Arkansas. Then come Oklahoma (34 percent) and West Virginia, North Carolina and Texas (33 percent).

LIKELIHOOD OF DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS

For the third year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of those states where a collision with a deer is most likely (for any one vehicle). Using its claims data in conjunction with state motor vehicle registration counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm calculates the chances of a West Virginia vehicle striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 39. Such an encounter is even more likely in West Virginia than it was a year ago.

Michigan remains second on that list. The likelihood of a specific vehicle striking a deer there is 1 in 78. Pennsylvania (1 in 94) and Iowa (1 in 104) remain third and fourth respectively. Montana (1 in 104) moved up three places to fifth.

Arkansas and South Dakota each dropped a spot to sixth and seventh. Wisconsin remains eighth. North Dakota and Virginia round out the top 10.

The state in which deer-vehicle collisions are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 9,931). The odds of any one vehicle hitting a deer in Hawaii during the next year are roughly equivalent to the odds of randomly picking a piece of clover and finding it has four leaves.

The average property damage cost of these incidents was $3,050, up 3.4 percent from a year ago.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause more than 150 fatalities each year.

AVOIDING DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS

These collisions are more frequent during the deer migration and mating season in October, November and December. The combination of growing deer populations and the displacement of deer habitat caused by urban sprawl are producing increasingly hazardous conditions for motorists and deer.

"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."

Here are tips on how to reduce the chances that a deer-vehicle collision involving your vehicle will be part of the story we tell in next year's version of this news release:

-- 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 headlamps 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 you see one,
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 you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in
the path of an oncoming vehicle.

About State Farm

State Farm® insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,700 agents and 68,600 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 78.7 million auto fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 31 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.

Source: State Farm


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Doh!
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I lived in South Dakota I managed to hit at least one a year. Deer (some quite large) are also common road kill to see there. People have even died with them coming through the windshield.

      I had a '92 Buick LeSabre out of high school that I managed to hit 6 deer with over the years that I owned it. All but one in rural country night driving. I managed to avoid many more.

      When driving at night I slow down to 55-60mph and constantly scan the road and ditches on both sides with my foot on the brake ready to push. That way of driving has saved me quite a few times.

      It would help if State Game, Fish & Parks would make deer hunting season longer and increase the amount of deer hunters can take.
      • 5 Years Ago
      one of my friends was in a deer related accident. Her friend was driving and she avoided the deer and over corrected sending her mid 90s Ford Explorer into a horrible roll over. She and her friend are ok. But this article reminded me of it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Simple solution for Michigan.....Give Nugent a 24/7/365 license with no bag limit. Problem solved.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The last thing I said before the damage was done, "Nice Rack".
      • 5 Years Ago
      How are your odds 1 in 10,000 to hit a deer on the road in hawaii when hawaii has zero deers. yes zero. none were indeginous and none were brought over.
      JasonKnighte
      • 8 Months Ago
      I would believe that there are more deer accidents these days. There are more drivers so it only makes more sense that we would have more accidents. I have a friend that brushed up against a deer while I was in the car. We were just lucky because the deer and car were fine. Jason|http://sararusso.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      The deer population in New Jersey is off the charts this year. They've extended hunting seasons, and increased tag limits, but there aren't enough hunters left, and it doesn't do much about the herds that live on the edge of suburbs, where you can't hunt (for good reason). The state may have to do more organized culling to get the population in check.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ post #1: rofl
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have had some pretty nasty deer encounters on the roads here in Indiana in my life, but the worst had to be about twelve years ago on I-69.

      I was travelling north on I-69 in a white '70 Monte Carlo, passing a semi, when a deer bounded out of the ditch on the right side, and right into the path of the semi. I was about halfway past the semi, and when it hit the deer dead center, the deer pretty much exploded. My white Monte was covered in blood splatter. When I got to work, and pulled into the parking lot, all of my coworkers were looking at my car like, "WTF?".

      It was pretty nasty. I was fully expecting there to be some small chunks lodged in my grill, but luckily, all I had to clean up was the blood.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Also, a deer killed my Corrado. :(
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is sad that animal population needs to be kept under check - but I guess its something which is required too. Few of the harsh realities of life..........

      http://www.qualityresearch.org.uk

      Elias Rufus
      • 7 Months Ago
      It's no surprise to me that there are more deer-auto accidents now then before. We are continually increasing our speeds and improving our roads. Some of the back roads have been improved to the quality of highways now. It's sad, but we must be more observant! -Elias http://www.kenjarchoagency.com/services-we-offer/health-life
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