50,000+ Georgia motorists collided with deer in 2016-17
The likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during October, November and December, during deer mating season. Whether you hit a large animal or it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage. No matter where you live, it’s important to remain alert and focused on the road so you can take action in the event a large animal is suddenly in your path.
U.S. drivers were slightly more likely, 1 in 162, to have a claim involving a collision with deer, elk, moose, or caribou than they did the past year (1 in 164), according to the State Farm annual deer collision study. Georgian’s odds are not as good, with the likelihood of a deer-vehicle collision coming in at 1 in 122 drivers, well above the national average.
“Georgia’s rapid growth coupled with the whitetail deer’s amazing ability to adapt makes collisions all the more likely,” said State Farm Spokesman Justin Tomczak. “Be alert, especially in these fall months when deer movement is at its highest. Just as important as the time of year and the time of day is the need to put down your phone and not be a distracted driver. In the split seconds you divert your eyes from the road to check Facebook, a 200 pound whitetail deer may step into the path of your vehicle.”
Some other tips to help keep drivers safe include: Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn. If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road. Pay attention to deer crossing signs. Buckle up. Every trip, every time. Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic. Brake if you can, but avoid swerving, which could result in a more severe crash. Remain focused on the road, scanning for hazards, including animals. Avoid distractions, like devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal. Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven effective. If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep focus on the road ahead. There is also an increased risk of collision with deer around dawn and dusk. Drivers should be engaged, alert and on the lookout at all times, because you never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may cross your travel path.
The national claim cost per claim average from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 was $4,179 —an increase from $3,995 from 2015-16.
The months most drivers had collisions with a deer, elk, moose or caribou in the U.S. were: November, October and December.