MINNESOTA The odds a driver in Minnesota will hit a deer fell in 2017, in line with a nationwide decline. State Farm released the results of its 16th annual deer-vehicle collision study last week. Overall, American drivers were less likely one in 167 to experience a crash involving a deer, elk, moose or caribou.
In Minnesota, the odds of having a deer-related crash were one in 77, good for a ranking of 7th in the country. In 2016, those odds were one in 74, 4.8 percent higher.
For the 12th consecutive year, West Virginia retained the top spot as most likely state in which to hit a deer, according to the study. One in 46 drivers in that state are involved in an insurance claim stemming from a deer crash, down three points from 2016. By comparison, the odds of being a twin are one in 90 and the odds of catching a baseball at an MLB game are just one in 563.
Montana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa rounded out the top five states where deer collisions are most likely. Heres the list of the top 10:
On the flip side, its enormously rare to hit a deer in Hawaii. Just one in 6,379 drivers in that state were involved in a deer-related crash last year, the authors said. And that represented a 7 percent increase over 2016. Hawaii was the lowest risk in the country, followed by California, Nevada, Arizona, District of Columbia and Florida.
November, October and December are the months where most animal-involved crashes occur, the company noted, particularly around dawn and dusk.
Drivers should be engaged, alert and on the lookout at all times, the study said. You never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may cross your travel path.
State Farm noted that while there was a decline in deer crashes, the average cost of property damage actually went up something to be aware of since the odds of hitting an animal doubles in the Fall. The company estimated collisions fell slightly to 1.33 million nationwide between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, but that the national cost per insurance claim averaged $4,341 $162 more than 2016. Eighty-seven percent of animal-strike claims involve the front of a vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The next most frequent impact point is to the driver side of the vehicle at 7 percent, followed by the passenger side at 5 percent.
The company also offered tips to avoid hitting deer, though they arent anything you shouldnt already be doing.
Vehicle damage from an animal collision is covered under your auto policy's optional comprehensive coverage. This means that if you only have collision coverage or liability coverage, your insurance carrier likely doesnt cover vehicle damage stemming from an animal collision. Reach out to your insurance carrier if youre interested in adding comprehensive coverage to your policy.
When you file an accident claim thats covered by your comprehensive coverage, you will still be on the hook to pay the deductible. Any costs after that up to your policy limits will be covered by the insurance company.
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