Dead skunks in the middle of the road may stink to high heaven, but it’s deer that make the insurance industry wrinkle its nose. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, deer account for one-third of all animal-related claims. That’s why auto insurance giant State Farm conducts an annual study of claims from deer and other ungulates such as moose, caribou and moose. The company uses data collected from the claims history of its 44.1 million insured drivers to project the total number of deer across the industry — and to determine in which states drivers are at greatest risk. State Farm also publishes an interactive map that shows where the risk is worst.
As in previous years, the insurer says for 2022 West Virginia is the state with the highest risk, with one in 35 accident-related claims involving an animal. The top five are Montana, South Dakota, Michigan and Wisconsin. Those with the lowest risk are Nevada — where only one in 698 claims involves a collision with an animal — plus Hawaii, Arizona, Florida and, surprisingly, Alaska.
Not only is November the month to grow your mustache to raise awareness of men’s health issues, it’s also when you’re most likely to hit a deer because it’s mating season. For the deer. Not for you.
Do not swerve to the right. Or to the left
Take your foot off the accelerator and brake in a straight line if you see an animal in the road. What could be a minor collision often becomes worse when a driver trying to avoid an animal leaves his lane and collides with another object or the car rolls.
Menagerie of Tragedy
Top five animals hit by vehicles
1. Deer 2. Raccoon 3. Dogs 4. Turkeys 5. Coyotes
Data provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Experts say the level of roadkill threat escalates with size. Animals weighing more than 500 pounds, such as cows, are the deadliest to drivers traveling at highway speeds. And despite the realism of Tommy Boy, cases of animals surviving an impact and then attacking the vehicle are rare.
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