Nevada odds makers would flock to Hawaii but go far out of their way to avoid West Virginia … if there were bets on the likelihood that a motor vehicle and deer would collide.
The chance of running into a deer in the island paradise is only one in 9,931.17. In West Virginia, however, the odds of a vehicle/deer collision in the next year are one in 39.17.
Idaho lands somewhere in the middle with odds of one in 305.07, according to study results issued this week by State Farm Insurance. The report indicates Idaho recorded 4,202 crashes from July 1, 2008, to June 30 of this year. Idaho had 1,281,899 vehicles registered as of November 2008, according to State Farm.
Of the six states bordering Idaho, the highest odds of a vehicle/deer collision is in Montana where there were 9,103 crashes for 948,528 vehicles. The odds of a deer/vehicle collision in Montana are one in 104.20.
Statistics for other surrounding states, according to the insurance company, are:
The State Farm Insurance report
Using its claims data, State Farm, the nation’s leading auto insurer estimates 2.4 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. during the two-year period between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009 (100,000 per month). That’s 18.3 percent more than five years earlier.
To put it another way, one of these unfortunate encounters occurs every 26 seconds (although they are much more likely during the last three months of the year and in the early evening).
More deer-vehicle collisions
Kansas is next at 41 percent. Deer-vehicle collisions have jumped by 38 percent in Florida, Mississippi and Arkansas. Then come Oklahoma (34 percent) and West Virginia, North Carolina and Texas (33 percent).
Likelihood of deer-vehicle collision
Michigan remains second on that list. The likelihood of a specific vehicle striking a deer there is 1 in 78. Pennsylvania (1 in 94) and Iowa (1 in 104) remain third and fourth respectively. Montana (1 in 104) moved up three places to fifth.
Arkansas and South Dakota each dropped a spot to sixth and seventh. Wisconsin remains eighth. North Dakota and Virginia round out the top 10. The state in which deer-vehicle collisions are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 9,931). The odds of any one vehicle hitting a deer in Hawaii during the next year are roughly equivalent to the odds of randomly picking a piece of clover and finding it has four leaves.
The average property damage cost of these incidents was $3,050, up 3.4 percent from a year ago.
Avoiding deer-vehicle collisions
“State Farm has been committed to auto safety for several decades and that’s why we want to call attention to potential hazards like this one,” said Laurette Stiles, State Farm Vice President of Strategic Resources. “We hope our updated information will inspire motorists to make safe decisions.”
Following are tips on how to reduce the chances that a deer-vehicle collision involving your vehicle will be part of the story we tell in next year’s version of this news release:
If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.