Report: Deer collisions decrease in Virginia; Tennessee remains at medium-risk


    Beginning Monday, insurance companies will begin to see more claims come in concerning auto collisions and deer. Those numbers will only continue to increase.

    An annual report issued by State Farm Insurance shows West Virginia is the nation's leader in deer versus car crashes for the 12th consecutive year, followed by Montana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa.

    November is the top month for deer claims across the U.S. but those types of collisions are down from 2016 statistics. That is a surprising fact considering their are four million more licensed drivers on the highways, the company reported.

    Virginia is ranked 11th on State Farm's list while Tennessee is ranked 30th.

    Other deer collision facts:

    • The likelihood of having a collision with a deer in Virginia is 1 in 99, a decrease of 4.7% since the 2016-2017 study.
    • Average property damage claim runs $4,341, up from $4,179 in 2017.
    • It is estimated Tennessee has 30,128 claims reported from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
    • Nearly 59,610 Virginia deer claims were reported during the same time period.
    • Nationally the average is 1 in 167 chance of deer collision.

    Here are some tips recommended by State Farm to keep yourself and other drivers safe during deer season:

    • Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
    • If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
    • Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
    • Always buckle up - every trip, every time.
    • Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
    • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving. This can result in a more severe crash.
    • Remain focused on the road. Scan for hazards, including animals.
    • Avoid distractions. Devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
    • Do not rely on products such as deer whistles. They are not proven effective.
    • If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear. Keep focus on the road ahead.

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