Kalamazoo, Mich., Oct. 3, 2011 – For the third consecutive year, the number of deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. has dropped. Using its claims data, State Farm®, the nation’s leading auto insurer, estimates 1.09 million collisions between deer and vehicles* occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. That’s 9 percent less than three years ago and 7 percent fewer than one year ago.
And the downturn is accelerating. The percentage decline over the last year is nearly three times as large as during the previous two years combined. Michigan has experienced the biggest decline with a 23 percent drop, according to State Farm. Following are West Virginia (22 percent), Connecticut (22 percent), Louisiana (19 percent) and Arkansas (18 percent), all states where at least 2,500 deer-vehicle collisions occur per year.
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. Using its claims data in conjunction with state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm calculates the chances of a West Virginia motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 53, an improvement over a year ago when the odds were 1 in 42. 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. Pennsylvania (1 in 86) jumps two pl
WHEN DO DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS OCCUR?
State Farm’s data shows that 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. A confrontation between a deer and a vehicle will occur once every five seconds in the United States in November (roughly equivalent to the time it took you to read this sentence).
Deer-vehicle collisions are three times more likely to occur on a day in November than they are on any day between February 1st and August 31st. October is the second most likely month for a crash involving a deer and a vehicle. December is third. The average property damage cost of these incidents during the final half of 2010 and the first half of 2011 was $3,171, up 2.2 percent from the year before.