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West Virginia leads list for deer crashes

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Nov. 6, 2012—As November is the most common month for drivers to encounter deer collisions, State Farm Insurance recently released a list of U.S. states where vehicle-deer collisions are most prominent.

According to State Farm, more than 18 percent of all vehicle-deer collisions take place during November. Motorists are three times more likely to experience such an incident in November compared to any day between February and August.

For the sixth consecutive year, West Virginia ranks as the U.S. state where deer collisions are most common. According to claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm said West Virginia drivers have a one in 40 chance of colliding with a deer during the next 12-month period.

State Farm said the following U.S. states round out the top five areas where vehicle-deer collisions are most common, each of which increased compared to last year:

• South Dakota: The odds of South Dakota drivers hitting a deer within the next year are one in 68.
• Iowa: The odds of Iowa drivers hitting a deer within the next year are one in 71.9.
• Michigan: The odds of Michigan drivers hitting a deer within the next year are one in 72.4.
• Pennsylvania: The odds of Pennsylvania drivers hitting a deer within the next year are one in 76.

State Farm said Hawaii is the U.S. state where drivers are least likely to encounter deer collisions. The odds of a vehicle-deer collision in Hawaii are one in 6,801, equal to the odds of being struck by lighting, according to State Farm.

State Farm said vehicle-deer collisions have increased over the past several years. Since 2008, the number of deer-related claims has increased by 7.9 percent, while other types of collision claims have declined by 8.5 percent. The average damage cost of those collisions during the first half of 2012 was $3,305, a 4.4 percent increase compared to the previous year.

"We have known for quite a while that the frequency of auto insurance claims has been declining," said Chris Mullen, director of technology research for State Farm. "But whatever is causing that trend is obviously not impacting deer-related crashes."

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