Likelihood of Deer-Vehicle Collision Decreases in Georgia

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According to State Farm Insurance® claims data, the likelihood of a vehicle in Georgia being involved in a deer-vehicle collision over the next 12 months has decreased slightly from a year ago. The chances of that happening are now 1 in 205 compared with 1 in 194 a year ago, with 41,749 total collisions expected, down from 43,673 a year ago.

Using its claims data, State Farm®, the nation’s leading auto insurer estimates 2.3 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. during the two-year period between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010. That’s 21.1 percent more than five years earlier. To put it another way, during your reading of this paragraph, a collision between a deer and vehicle will likely have taken place (they are much more likely during the last three months of the year and in the early evening).


At 1 in 205, Georgia drivers are at a slightly higher risk than the national average of 1 in 217. For the fourth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of those states where a collision with a deer is most likely (for any one vehicle). Using its claims data in conjunction with state motor vehicle registration counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm calculates the chances of a West Virginia vehicle striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 43. Michigan remains second on that list. The likelihood of a specific vehicle striking a deer there is 1 in 79 (virtually the same as a year ago). Arkansas (1 in 99) moves up three places to third. Pennsylvania (1 in 101) drops one spot to fourth. Montana (1 in 103) is still fifth. South Dakota moves up a place to sixth. Iowa falls from fourth to seventh. Wisconsin remains eighth. Virginia moves up one place to ninth and Mississippi jumps two spots to tenth.

U.S. map showing likelihood of deer-vehicle collision by state

Chart listing likelihood of vehicle-deer collision by state

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities each year. The average property damage cost of these incidents was $3,103, up 1.7 percent from a year ago.


These collisions are more frequent during the deer migration and mating season in October, November and December. The combination of growing deer populations and the displacement of deer habitat caused by urban sprawl are producing increasingly hazardous conditions for motorists and deer.

“State Farm has been committed to auto safety for several decades and that’s why we want to call attention to potential hazards like this one,” said Justin Tomczak, State Farm spokesman, “We hope our updated information will inspire motorists to make safe decisions.”

Here are tips on how to reduce the chances that a deer-vehicle collision involving your vehicle will be part of the story in next year’s state by state statistics:

* Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.
* Remember that deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
* Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
* Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
* Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles.
* 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.

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