Virginia among top 15 states for deer collisions

Published: Sep. 20, 2016 at 3:55 PM EDT
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The odds that a Virginia driver will hit a deer in the coming year are 1 in 94. Virginia ranks 13th in the country for the most potential deer collisions.

State Farm calculates the chances of motorists striking a deer over the next 12 months ever year by using claims data and state licensed driver counts.

Virginia saw an increase of over 166,000 more licensed vehicles in 2015-2016 than the prior year, which means more drivers are on the road. Additionally, over 3,638 more deer collision claims occurred in that same time frame, so State Farm encourages Virginia drivers to use extra caution and slow down in deer zones, use high beam headlights as appropriate, and avoid swerving upon seeing a deer.

While Virginia ranks 13th in the nation for deer collisions, West Virginia holds the number one spot, where drivers have 1 in 41 chance of colliding with a deer, elk or moose. This shows a 5.4% increase from the year before.

According to State Farm, the highest risk times are between dusk and dawn, and the likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during October, November and December (all of which are during deer mating season).

They offer the following quick tips to avoid deer collisions:

• Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.

• Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.

• Remember that deer are most active between dusk and dawn, and during the months of October, November and December.

• Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.

In addition, here are some more facts from State Farm about deer collisions:

• Nationally, drivers are 3% more likely to collide with a deer, elk, or moose in the coming year compared to last year.

• The national average of cost per claim is nearly $4,000.

• The months a driver is most likely to experience a collision are, in order: November, October, December

• For the 10th year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where a collision is most likely with 1 in 41 odds. Hawaii rounds out the bottom of the list, also for the 10th year in a row, with 1 in almost 19,000 odds.

Below, you can see a map that shows every state's chances of a driver having a collision with a deer.