Though hunters may complain that there are too few of them, deer are everywhere. They can be found in every state and number an estimated 20 million.
Chances are, nearly every driver has experienced a near miss or a collision with one of these animals. In Pennsylvania, the odds are 1 in 127 you will hit a deer with your vehicle this year, according to State Farm Insurance. It’s even more dangerous in West Virginia, where your chances of a collision with a deer are 1 in 40 – the highest odds in the nation.
State Farm estimates that about 200 people die each year as a result of 1.23 million of these accidents. Drivers should be especially alert at this time of year – the rutting season – when deer are more on the move between dusk and dawn. November is the peak month for such collisions.
Caution should be taken everywhere, not just on country roads. Deer have moved into the suburbs, where the vegetation is tasty and hunting is prohibited, and can even be seen on city streets.
There’s no way to completely avoid hitting a deer, but using high beams when possible, keeping an eye of the sides of the road and slowing down will help.