Monday, October 29, 2007

West Virginia has highest frequency of deer-vehicle collisions in the country

A collision between a vehicle and a deer is more likely in West Virginia than in any other state, according to State Farm Insurance claims data from all of 2006 and early 2007. The insurer said a vehicle driving through West Virginia has a 1 in 57 chance of colliding with a deer — compare that to an individual's 1 in 150 chance of being audited by the IRS or 1 in 250,000 chance of being struck by lightning in the next year. Nationally, 1 in 216 vehicles will collide with a deer.

The risk is greater during the deer mating and migration season of October, November and December. George Hohmann of the Charleston Daily Mail writes, "In recent months, West Virginia wildlife officials have said the state's drought conditions this summer also increase the danger for deer to roam closer to major roadways. The need for new food sources is pushing them nearer to residential and metropolitan areas." (Read more)

States with the highest chances for deer collisions:
  1. West Virginia, 1 in 57
  2. Michigan, 1 in 86
  3. Wisconsin, 1 in 99
  4. Pennsylvania, 1 in 100
  5. Iowa, 1 in 109
Across the country, the total number of deer-vehicle collisions rose 6.3 percent last year, State Farm said. The average cost of the property damage caused by a collision was $2,900. For the full news release from State Farm, go here. A columnist in The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., argues that hunting season helps reduce such collisions.

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