Missouri drivers are nearly 8 percent less likely to collide with a deer in the next 12 months than they were last year, according to new claims data from State Farm. The insurance giant says the odds drivers will hit a deer in Missouri in the coming year are one-out-of-124, above the national odds of one-in-169.
Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm (the nation’s leading auto insurer) calculates the chances of any single American motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months state by state.
The lower odds can be attributed to a decrease in deer numbers, according to Jason Sumners, a resource scientist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“We lost a sizeable portion of our deer population because of EHD (viral disease),” Sumners said. “It began with the severe drought in 2012.”
More State Farm deer collision facts:
•Missouri is ranked 18th in the country in deer collision occurrences.
•With one-in-39 odds, West Virginia tops the list of states where a deer collision is most likely for the eighth year in a row. Hawaii lies out the bottom of the list, also for the eighth year in a row, with one-in-10,281 odds. Hawaiians are three times more likely to get struck by lightning in their lifetime than they are to hit a deer in the next year.
STILL A THREAT
In 2012, 175 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:
•Always wear a seatbelt.
•At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams.
•Be particularly cautious between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m., when deer are most active.
•Avoid swerving when you see a deer.
•Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles.