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Midwestern States Among Most Dangerous for Vehicles Striking Deer

State Farm® announces Top 10 states for deer collisions, offers advice on avoiding deadly accidents during peak fall season

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- November 3, 2005 -- The arrival of fall marks the beginning of a new football season, a new holiday season and the start of another deer season. The migrating and mating season for deer across the United States usually runs from October through December – a season that proves deadly for many deer and motorists alike every year.

Some states experience more collisions with deer than others. According to claim statistics from State Farm – which insures more vehicles than any other company in the United States – the states with the highest number of accidents involving deer between July1, 2004 and June 30, 2005 were:


Drivers in these states, and all others, who heed some helpful tips, can avoid becoming involved in one of the estimated 1.5 million vehicle-deer collisions that take place across the United States each year. These alarming numbers of accidents kill more than 150 motorists each year and result in more than $1.1 billion in vehicle damage. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report recently revealed that vehicle-animal collisions rose 24 percent in 2000-01 when compared with 1992-93 (NHTSA does not make distinctions on the type of animal).

Even more alarming are recent studies that show the deer population is growing exponentially across the United States. This means deer, many of which are being displaced by urban sprawl, are left wandering as they seek a mate and flee hunters, often leading them on to busy roads.

Several remedies have been proposed and studied to help mitigate the dangers of vehicle-deer collisions. One such study included the use of radar to detect deer movement near roads, and when a deer was detected, an active deer crossing sign was illuminated. Other studies have focused on keeping deer out of the roadway through long runs of eight-foot-tall chain link fencing that keep deer confined and out of the roadway.

“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 vehicle-deer collisions,” said John Nepomuceno, Research Administrator for State Farm. “Undoubtedly, the best way to avoid deer-vehicle collisions is through attentive driving behavior.”

Driver’s wishing to avoid vehicle-deer collisions should:

Remain aware of posted deer crossing signs.
These signs are placed in known active deer crossing areas.

Be aware that deer are most active during the early evening.

At night, use high-beam headlamps as much as possible to illuminate the sides of the road where deer can linger.

Be aware that deer often move in packs – if you see one deer, there is a good chance several more are just a few yards behind.

Do not rely on car-mounted “deer whistles.” Studies have shown deer are not affected by this deterrence method.

If a collision with a deer seems inevitable, it may be best not to swerve. The risk of personal injury is greatly increased by swerving which can place you in the path of oncoming vehicles or may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

By following these simple steps, motorists may avoid becoming involved in deer-vehicle collisions this fall.

About State Farm

State Farm® insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 69,000 employees serve nearly 73 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada . State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No.19 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies.

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