FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Connecticut drivers are nearly 20 percent more likely to collide with a deer in the next 12 months than they were last year, according to new claims data from State Farm. And the odds of hitting a deer are even higher in October and November.
The odds that a driver will hit a deer in Connecticut the coming year are 1 out of 256, still lower than the national odds of 1 in 169.
Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm calculates the chances of any single American motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months state by state.
Here are some deer collisions facts:
• Connecticut is ranked 36 in the country for the most deer collisions
• The national cost per claim average is $3,888, up 13.9 percent 2013 when the average was $3,414.
• The months a driver is most likely to collide with a deer in Connecticut, mostly due to mating and hunting seasons, are, in order: November, October and June.
• For the eighth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where a collision is most likely with 1 in 39 odds. Hawaii rounds out the bottom of the list, also for the eighth year in a row, with 1 in 10,281 odds.
Injuries, vehicle damage and fatalities all can result from vehicle collisions with deer. 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:
• Use extra caution in known deer zones
• Always wear your seat belt
• At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams
• Avoid swerving when you see a deer
• Scan the road for deer and other danger signs
• Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles
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 and dawn are high risk times
“It’s important that drivers are practicing safe driving habits and watching out for animals on the road. Wearing your seat belt and practicing defensive driving tactics could make a significant difference,” said Matthew S. Hodson, vice president at State Farm.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.