Nearly 39,000 deer related claims in SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) — Good news for South Carolina drivers when it comes to your risk of hitting a deer. South Carolina drivers are slightly less likely to collide with a deer than they were last year, according to new claims data from State Farm.

Using industry claim counts, the state’s largest auto insurer ranks South Carolina at 12th in the nation with 38,951 auto claims connected to deer collisions across the state from July 2016 to June 2017. This means every 1 in 95 South Carolina drivers are likely to collide with a deer. This is a slight improvement considering during the previous year, every 1 in 93 SC drivers were likely to hit a deer. “As we approach the time of year when more deer are on the move, we hope drivers will pay attention to the numbers and stay alert,” says State Farm spokesman Roszell Gadson.

More 2017 State Farm deer collision facts:

West Virginia led the nation as the state with the highest chances of hitting a deer.

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:
1. November
2. October
3. December

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.

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.

Methodology:
Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm, the nation’s leading auto insurer, calculates the chances of any single American motorist striking a deer, elk, moose or caribou during July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data has been projected for the insurance industry as a whole, based on State Farm personal vehicle market penetration within each state. The State Farm data are based on comprehensive and collision claims only. Claims involving policyholders with liability insurance coverage only are not included.

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