Jefferson City, MO (KTRS) The chance of a motorist hitting a deer on a Missouri roadway is increasing.
Missouri drivers are more likely to collide with a deer in the coming year than they were last year. This is according to new claims data from State Farm Insurance.
The odds drivers will hit a deer in Missouri in the coming year are 1 in 117, above the national odds of 1 in 164. State Farm also reports the national average of cost per claim is nearly $4,000.
Missouri ranks 17th in the country for the most potential deer collisions. During October, November, and December are when motorists are most likely to encouter deer on the roadway.
State Farm Offers Tips For Avoiding Deer Accidents:
- Use extra caution in known deer zones.
- Slow down – Give the animal time and room to move off the road – don’t try to outrun it. Always wear your seatbelt – The IIHS reports that in a study of fatal animal crashes, 60 percent of people killed were not wearing a seatbelt.
- At night, use high beams to better illumine the roadway, but if you encounter deer, switch your headlights to low beam, so that the animals are not blinded and will move out of your way.
- Dusk to dawn are high-risk times – Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before or after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions when deer are on the move and driver visibility is affected.
- Avoid swerving when you see a deer – Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Scan the road – Even if your car is not the first to collide with the deer, you are still at risk. Multiple deer crashes can occur when deer fly over the vehicle it collides with and lands on another car or when a deer collision causes a chain reaction where vehicles collide into the car that hit the deer. Practice defensive driving tactics and be observant of your surroundings while driving.
- Devices not proven effective – Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not proven effective.