A new report from State Farm says that Missouri remains among the top states for risk of deer collisions.
New auto claims data compiled by State Farm shows Missouri had the 12th-highest number of deer collisions over the last year, with over 38,000 (38,603) collisions occurring statewide. That is a crash rate of 1 in 110 drivers in the state, and an increase of nearly 1,000 crashes from the prior year.
Missourians’ chances of hitting a deer increased 4.5% compared to 2017.
In Missouri, October & November are the months with the most collisions, with about double the risk of other months. November, with nearly 20% of all collisions, is the most dangerous month.
The U.S. saw 1.33 million total deer collisions over the last year, with an average cost per claim of $4,300. Pennsylvania saw the most collisions, with 141,777. Hawaii saw the least, with just 146. West Virginia saw the highest collision rate for the 12th straight year, with 1 in 46 drivers experiencing a deer collision.
Tips for drivers:
- Deer are a road hazard – Slow down as you would for other hazards, like bad weather. Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if you see a deer ahead.
- Dusk to dawn is the high-risk time of day – Use high beams to help light up deer sooner.
- Areas near woods & water are particularly high risk. Deer use forests for shelter and clearings for food, so suburbs can be a prime habitat for deer.
- If you see a deer, brake and sound your horn – but don’t swerve out of your lane to avoid the animal.
- Buckle up – Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60% in an SUV and 45% in a car.
If you experience a crash with a deer:
- Move your vehicle to a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights.
- Always call the police if a deer is obstructing the road for other drivers, and call your insurance company to file your claim.
- Take photos of the damage, the road and your surroundings.
- Stay away from the animal – A wounded or frightened deer can be dangerous. Let the authorities handle it.
- Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive – Check for fluid leaks, loose parts, tire damage, and broken lights.