It’s the fall season and that means it’s prime time for animal collisions.
According to a State Farm study, most animal-related crashes in the U.S. occur from October to December. While most collisions are with deer (67%), many other animals followed closely behind such as dogs, cats, farm animals and large rodents.
The insurance company says New York drivers rank 12th in the nation for animal collision claims. New York drivers collided with deer, dogs and, again, farm animals. Indeed, drivers have a 1 in 133 chance of colliding with an animal.
Nationally, State Farm had more than 1.96 million animal collisions during the same time frame. Of those collisions, the vast majority were deer. In fact, that 67% (1.3 million claims) involved a deer collision.
The state with the highest risk of an animal collision is West Virginia where drivers have a 1 in 37 chance of hitting an animal.
State Farm’s top 10 states for animal collision claims (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020):
• Pennsylvania, 28,489 animal collision claims
• Michigan, 17,312
• Georgia, 16,655
• Illinois, 16,445
• Texas, 15,307
• Ohio, 13,826
• Virginia, 13,067
• Minnesota, 12,378
• South Carolina, 11,452
• Missouri, 11,253
Animal Collision Safety Tips:
• Use extra caution and slow-down in known animal crossing zones.
• Slow down. Reduce your vehicle’s speed and maintain a constant lookout for animals. Travel at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if an animal comes into the beam cast by your headlights
• Dusk to dawn are high-risk times; use high beams when appropriate.
• Scan the road and avoid swerving when you see an animal. Brake firmly when you notice an animal in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
• Always wear your seatbelt. Safety belts saved an estimated 114,955 lives in 2017.
• Move your vehicle to a safe place: Pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
• Call police: If an animal is blocking traffic and could be create a threat for other drivers.
• Document: Take photographs of the road, your surroundings and damage.
• Stay away from the animal: A frightened, wounded animal could use its legs and hooves to harm you. Do not attempt to move an animal.
• Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive: Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights and other hazard.