With the fall season, more deer can be found on the road.
According to a new report from State Farm, Iowa ranks as the 5th highest state in the nation for deer collisions.
October and November are the most dangerous months, with November seeing about 20 percent of all collisions.
In Iowa, one in 73 drivers has hit a deer while on the roads, slightly better than last year at one for every 69.
And it’s not just Iowa. Nebraska and South Dakota are also considered to be high-risk states.
Iowa state patrol trooper John Farley says dawn and dusk can have increased deer activity.
“This is something not uncommon to Iowa. Iowa is, I’m sure, one of the top ten states in deer collisions, and we want to make sure that awareness goes day and night,” said Farley. “A lot of people think that it’s heaviest at night time, and it is right around the dusk and early morning daytimes, that early light time that are the peak movement times for deer but it can happen at any time.”
The State Farm report also said that the average cost of is $4,300 per claim.
While Pennsylvania saw the most collision at with 141,777, West Virginia had the highest collision rate with 1 in 46 drivers experiencing a deer collision.
State Farm offered a few safety suggestions to keep in mind:
- Deer are a road hazard – Slow down as you would for other hazards, like bad weather. Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if you see a deer ahead.
- Dusk to dawn is the high-risk time of day – Use high beams to help light up deer sooner.
- Areas near woods & water are particularly high risk. Deer use forests for shelter and clearings for food, so suburbs can be a prime habitat for deer.
- If you see a deer, brake and sound your horn – but don’t swerve out of your lane to avoid the animal.
- Buckle up – Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60% in an SUV and 45% in a car.
If you experience a crash with a deer:
- Move your vehicle to a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights.
- Always call the police if a deer is obstructing the road for other drivers, and call your insurance company to file your claim.
- Take photos of the damage, the road and your surroundings.
- Stay away from the animal – A wounded or frightened deer can be dangerous. Let the authorities handle it.
- Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive – Check for fluid leaks, loose parts, tire damage, and broken lights.