FROM STATE FARM INSURANCE -- Deer-vehicle collisions are up across the United States compared to a year ago, and Kansas has jumped six notches in the national ranking for these mishaps.
The chances of you hitting a deer if driving in Kansas in the next 12 months are 1 in 128, placing the state at No. 19 in the country. Last year, the odds were 1 in 164, or 25th in the U.S.
Using its claims data and the number of licensed drivers in each state, State Farm® estimates 1.2 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. That’s an increase of 7.7 percent over a year ago. The previous three years have seen an overall drop of 2.2 percent.
For the sixth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list. State Farm calculates the chances of a West Virginia motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 40, compared with 1 in 48 the year before.* South Dakota moved from third to second, at 1 in 68 on the list. Iowa drops from second to third, at 1 in 72.
The state in which deer-vehicle mishaps are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 6,801). The odds of a driver in Hawaii colliding with a deer between now and 12 months from now are approximately equal to the odds that any one person will be struck by lightning during his or her lifetime.
AVOIDING DEER-VEHICLE COLLISIONS
Tips from the Insurance Information Institute on how to reduce the odds of a deer-vehicle collision:
Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
Remember that deer are most active between 6:00 and 9:00 in the evening, at dusk. If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Use high-beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
In addition, always obey speed limits and wear seat belts.