Updated: Friday, 08 Oct 2010, 11:38 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 04 Oct 2010, 10:25 AM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A study indicates the number of deer-vehicle collisions continues to grow with an estimated 2.3 million accidents involving deer and vehicle in the past two years in the U.S. West Virginia has the highest rate of deer-vehicle collisions and Indiana ranks 24.
The study, conducted by State Farm Insurance, used claims data to compile the statistics.
In West Virginia, the chances of a driver hitting a deer in the next 12 months is one in 42. In Indiana, the likelihood is one in 160.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer-vehicle collisions cause about 200 deaths a year.
To see a map of showing the likelihood of deer-vehicle collisions by state, click here.
To see a chart listing the likelihood of vehicle-deer collisions by state, click here.
According to the Indiana State Police, there were 16,225 vehicle-deer accidents in Indiana in 2009.
Police recommend motorists use the following guidelines:
• When possible use high beam headlights at night and be aware that deer could be standing on or near the side of the roadway.
• Drivers should watch approaching vehicles to see if what interrupts their headlights beams could be a passing deer. This technique allows extra time to slow your speed and be alert for the deer.
• Look for reflections from the deer’s eyes.
• Where there is one deer there are often several. Do not assume you missed the deer because more could follow. BE ALERT!
• If your vehicle strikes a deer do not touch it. A frightened or wounded deer can cause you serious bodily injury. Remain in your car, make sure you and your passengers are safe, and call the police to obtain a crash report for your insurance company. You must report this as you would any other crash.
• Buckle your seat belt. Defensive driving and buckling up go a long way in not only vehicle-deer crashes, but also in general driving.
Ground rules for posting comments: No profanity or personal attacks. No racially charged comments. If it's not something you would say to someone's face, it's most likely inappropriate. Please comment on the subject of the story itself. If you do not follow these rules, we will remove your post. Repeat offenders will be banned from making future comments. Keep it civil, folks! WANE is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section.