Animal-Related Crashes Down Slightly, Report Finds

Good news when it comes to animal-related crashes. They are down slightly from last year according to State Farmís 16th annual deer-vehicle collision study.

Researchers say animal-related crashes dropped slightly to 1.33 million between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018. Thatís down from 1.34 million in 2017. The decline is despite the fact that there are nearly four million more licensed drivers.

Put another way, drivers were less likely, one in 167, to have a crash involving a collision with deer, elk, moose, or caribou. Last yearís survey put that chance at one in 162.

Top 10 Deer-Collision States

West Virginia tops the list for the twelfth consecutive year. However, the likelihood of having an insurance claim involving a deer was one in 46 for West Virginia drivers ó down three points from last year.

  1. West Virginia
  2. Montana
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Iowa
  6. South Dakota
  7. Minnesota
  8. Michigan
  9. Wyoming
  10. Mississippi

November, October, and December

The chances of hitting a deer or another large animal doubles in the fall. The months with the most claims are November, October, and December, in that order. There is also an increased risk of collision with deer around dawn and dusk. Drivers should be engaged, alert and on the lookout at all times. You never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may cross your travel path.

Safe Driving Tips

No matter where you live, or what time of day you are driving, itís important to remain alert. Keep your eyes up and focused on the road. This helps you take action in the event a deer is suddenly in your path. Other tips to help keep drivers safe include:

  • Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
  • If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
  • Always buckle up Ė every trip, every time.
  • Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
  • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving. This can result in a more severe crash.
  • Remain focused on the road. Scan for hazards, including animals.
  • Avoid distractions. Devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
  • Do not rely on products such as deer whistles. They are not proven effective.
  • If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear. Keep focus on the road ahead.

I also have my own tips for avoiding hitting a deer, here:

6 Tips for Sale Driving During Deer Season

Photo Credit: State Farm
Chuck i.
Another tip for avoiding deer: USE YOUR HORN! Several times I've "blown" deer off the road, or away from the side of the road, with my horn. When I was 16 years old my Dad taught me never to hesitate using my horn to wake up errant drivers. 49 years later it still works, on deer also.