Fall is here, signifying the beginning of deer mating season. Unfortunately, that means more deer crossing roads and more deer-vehicle collisions.
In fact, the likelihood of having a vehicle collide with a large animal more than doubles during the months of October, November, and December, according to claims data from State Farm.
But deer aren’t the only large four-legged hazards you have to worry about. In some regions, elk and moose populations also pose a crash risk.
According to State Farm’s most recent data, the top five states in which a driver is most likely to have a claim from a collision with a deer, elk, or moose are West Virginia (one in 41 chance), Montana (one in 58), Pennsylvania (one in 67), Iowa (one in 68), and South Dakota (one in 70).
“We know there is an increased risk of collision with deer around dawn and dusk, and also during the October-December breeding season,” said Chris Mullen, director of technology research at State Farm. “However, drivers should be engaged, alert and on the lookout at all times because you never know when you may need to react to a deer or any other obstacle that may suddenly be in your path.”
State Farm offers this advice to drivers in regions with deer populations:
- 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, every trip, every time.
- Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
- Brake if you can, but avoid swerving, which could result in a more severe crash.
- Remain focused on the road, scanning for hazards, including animals.
- Avoid distractions, such as devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
- Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven effective.
- If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep your focus on the road ahead.
To watch a video about the rising number of deer-vehicle crashes, click on the photo or link below the headline.