Data: Alabamians have 1 in 135 chance of hitting deer

Published 1:59 am Friday, September 30, 2016


Over the past year, tens of thousands of Alabama drivers have had an unwelcome encounter with a deer. State Farm, the state’s largest auto insurer reports 28,794 insurance claims connected to deer collisions from July of last year through the end of June in 2016. State Farm estimates that 1 in 135 Alabama drivers are likely to collide with a deer. The good news is this is actually a 1.5 percent decrease from the previous year. But it’s higher than the national odds of 1 in 164.

Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm estimates the state by state chances of any single American motorist striking a deer, elk or moose.

“There is an increased risk of a collision with deer around dawn and dusk, and also during the fall breeding season,” said State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadson. “We encourage drivers to be aware and on the lookout at all times.”

More 2016 State Farm deer collisions facts:

The national cost per claim average is $3,995 down slightly from 2015 when the average was $4,135.

The months a driver is most likely to collide with a deer in Alabama, mostly due to mating season, are:

  • 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.

Avoid becoming a statistic:

Injuries, vehicle damage and fatalities all can result from vehicle collisions with deer. In 2013, 191 deaths were the result of collisions with animals, with deer being the animal most often struck, according to the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These tips could help drivers avoid a collision:

Pay attention to deer crossing signs:

Always buckle up, every trip, every time

Use your high beams, when possible, to see further

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, like 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 focus on the road ahead

And here are some deer facts that all drivers should know:

  • Deer are on all roads
  • Deer are unpredictable
  • Deer often move in groups
  • Deer movement is most prevalent in the fall
  • Dusk to dawn are high risk times