Number of Animal-Related Collisions Are Highest in the Fall

By USClaims

deer car accident / collisionWith new seasons come new things to look forward to. As the leaves change in autumn, the brisk air conjures up many memories and fun activities: Sunday football, big sweaters, and pumpkin spiced everything. Something else the season brings: deer.

Deer Car Accident / Collision Statistics

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it is estimated that there are more than 1.5 million deer car accident / collisions each year, with 150 occupant deaths and tens of thousands of injuries. These accidents also result in over $1 billion in damage. Insurance claims for auto-collisions with deer and other animals sharply increase during the fall mating season, with the month of November seeing peak claims. A study by State Farm Insurance confirms this, showing that its insurance claims have increased by 21 percent over the last five years despite the fact that the miles that are driven by motorists have only increased by two percent.

Though most of us consider the impact on these animals, often killing them, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released data showing that in 2015, 186 people were also killed in crashes, which involved animals. The national average cost per claim is $3,995.08.

Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports Auto Test Center, explains that the best way to combat these accidents is to use common sense. “Fall brings the dangerous combination of the deer being more active when we’re driving more during dusk or after dark, due to the shorter daylight hours. Stay attentive and make use of your high beams whenever you can to see further ahead,” she said.

Russ Rader, IIHS spokesman, also agreed that common sense is the best defense. He explained how best to combat the issue. “Slow down in areas where deer are prevalent. If you see one deer cross the road ahead, others are likely to follow.” He went on to explain that most fatalities occur due to cars running off of the road or motorcyclists falling off of their bikes. “Most of the human deaths would be prevented if every driver buckled up and every motorcyclist wore a helmet,” he said.

According to State Farm’s most recent study, the top 10 states to be involved in a deer car accident / collision  are:

  • Montana
  • Pennsylvania
  • Iowa
  • Wisconsin
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Wyoming
  • Michigan
  • North Dakota

Luckily there are preventative measures that can be taken to help prevent drivers from hitting deer or other animals.

  • Slow Down – Deer are most active at dawn and between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. It is especially important to use caution, including slowing down, during these hours.
  • Be Aware – It is extremely important to pay close attention to the areas where you know that deer are to be found. This includes wooded areas and roads with deer-crossing signs. If you have seen a deer there before, you should expect to see them there again.
  • Remain Alert – Be sure to keep an eye out for animals – especially at night. Slowing down and using your high beams will allow for greater notice should an animal cross your path.
  • Expect More – Deer travel in groups, so when you see one deer crossing the road it is best to expect that there are more of them about to do the same.
  • Wear a Seat Belt – According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 60 percent of people who were killed in collisions with animals were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

If you do hit an animal, it is best to move your car to a safe place off of the road and call either police or animal control. If you can, photograph the scene to preserve evidence of what occurred. If you have initiated a lawsuit surrounding injuries sustained in a deer car accident, but worry about your ability to keep up with all of your expenses, call USClaims.

At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding, if a case is qualified for pre-settlement funding then we would purchase a portion of the proceeds of the anticipated court judgment or settlement for some cash now. USClaims only gets paid if a case is won or has reached a settlement! Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.