Study: Michigan drivers 8th most likely to hit a deer, other large animal

DETROIT - A new study shows just how dangerous deer are to Michigan drivers.

State Farm, using insurance claims and other data, released a study on Monday showing Michigan as the eighth most dangerous state for collisions with large animals, including deer, elk and moose.

On average, one of every 85 Michigan drivers will have an insurance claim for damage caused by a collision with a deer in 2017.

The top ten states a driver was most likely to have a claim from a collision with a deer, elk or moose in the 2016-2017 study are:

1.    West Virginia   1 in 43 chance
2.    Montana 1 in 57 chance
3.    Pennsylvania    1 in 63 chance
4.    Iowa            1 in 69 chance
5.    Wisconsin        1 in 72 chance
6.    South Dakota    1 in 73 chance
7.    Minnesota       1 in 74 chance
8.    Wyoming 1 in 79 chance
9.    Michigan        1 in 85 chance
10.    North Dakota    1 in 87 chance

The average cost for deer-vehicle claims has gone up nationwide to $4,179 from $3,995. The likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during the months of October, November and December, during deer mating season.

State Farm provided some tips to help drivers avoid these dangerous incidents:

•    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, which could result in a more severe crash
•    Remain focused on the road, scanning for hazards, including animals
•    Avoid distractions, like devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal
•    Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven effective
•    If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep focus on the road ahead
 

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