Oregon drivers tops in West when it comes to deer collisions
It's almost deer season for hunters, but Oregon's drivers are No. 1 in the West when it comes to run-ins with deer.
Insurance company State Farm reported Wednesday, Oct. 4, that drivers in the Beaver State routinely collide with more deer each year than in neighboring states to the north and south. The company's 15th annual deer claim study found that one of every 254 Oregon drivers will likely collide with a deer.
Oregon ranks low (No. 37) on a national scale of states where a deer collision is likely to occur. Its West Coast neighbors are a bit safer, according to the study. Washington ranks No. 42 (one in 356), and California is No. 50 (one in 1,117).
According to the study, the likelihood of colliding with a deer more than doubles during October, November and December — deer mating season. The cost to repair the large animal collisions average nearly $4,179 per claim, compared to $3,995 in 2016.
West Virginia took top honors in the State Farm survey, where chances of colliding with a deer are one in 43. Montana (one in 57), Pennsylvania (one in 63), Iowa (one in 69) and Wisconsin (one in 72) round out the top five.
The State Farm survey used insurance claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration to calculate the chances of a driver striking a deer, elk, moose or caribou between July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.
State Farm's tips for avoiding deer collisions: drive slower at dusk and dawn (when deer are most active); brake if you can to avoid a collision, but don't swerve, which can cause a more severe crash; and don't rely on things like deer whistles, which aren't effective.