State Farm Reports 6 % Rise in Deer-Auto Crashes; Midwest in Top 10

Recent claims data issued by Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm Insurance shows that deer-related vehicle collisions have risen almost 6 percent from the last deer season. State Farm policy holders were involved in 192,877 deer-related collisions compared to 182,458 from the previous year, based on estimated submitted claims. From July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006 average property damage cost was $2800, up $300 from the previous year.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety there are an estimated 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions annually in the United States, causing more than 150 fatalities and $1.1 billion in property damage. An estimated 10,000 more deer collisions occurred this year. To make matters worse for drivers, collision repair costs are also on the rise, according to the company’s release.

These collisions become more frequent during the fall and winter due to the deer migration and mating season. This season usually occurs from October through December. Coupled with the facts that deer populations are growing and deer habitat is being displaced by urban sprawl makes for a deadly combination for both deer and motorists.

Certain states experience more collisions with deer than others, with the Midwest hold five of the ten spots in the top ten list. According to State Farm’s annual claim statistics, the states with the highest number of accidents involving deer between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006 were:

1. Pennsylvania
2. Michigan
3. Illinois
4. Ohio
5. Georgia
6. Virginia
7. Minnesota
8. Texas
9. Indiana
10. South Carolina

The top ten ranked deer collision states account for 51 percent of all deer collision claims filed by State Farm policy holders.

“While research has revealed several innovative ways to deter deer from entering the roadways and alerting drivers to the dangers of deer in the area, there will always remain a constant danger of deer-vehicle collisions,” said Melissa Miles, senior research analyst for State Farm. “Undoubtedly, the best way to avoid deer-vehicle collisions is through attentive driving behavior.”

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State Farm identifies itself as an insurer of more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer.

Source: State Farm Insurance