While many car accidents occur between two drivers, there is another danger that rural drivers know all too well: deer collisions. And drivers need to be even more cautious of deer during the fall months.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), animal collisions rise sharply in the fall during deer mating season. The worst month for deer collisions according to their data is November.
A recent State Farm Insurance study expands on the dangers of deer collisions in the fall. According to State Farm, their insurance claims for deer collisions rose by 21 percent over the past five years. And this is a trend that is affecting drivers across the country.
Dangers of deer in Illinois and Missouri
Research from IIHS shows that there are over 1.5 million deer-related collisions every year in the U.S. In 2015, these collisions resulted in 186 deaths and approximately $1 billion in damage.
While neither Illinois nor Missouri are in the top ten worst states for deer collisions, they also are not among the safest. State Farm estimates that one in 112 Missouri drivers will experience a deer collision in a given year; the odds are one in 204 for Illinois drivers.
How you can avoid deer collisions
While deer collisions are not entirely avoidable, there are a few ways you can avoid an accident. Keep an eye out for road signs that indicate there are deer nearby. Be sure to stay alert and slow down in these areas.
If you see a deer, hit the brakes – don’t swerve out of the way. And always assume there are other deer in the area.
Of course, the best way you can protect yourself from serious injury or death from a deer collision is to wear your seat belt. For motorcyclists, always be sure to wear your helmet.