Minnesota deer-motorcycle fatalities in 2013 on pace for new record

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As deer activity begins to increase in the state, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is warning motorists and motorcyclists to be aware on the roads, The Associated Press reports.

The agency says seven motorcyclists have been killed in deer-motorcycle fatalities so far this year, matching the record number of motorcyclists killed in crashes with deer in 2008.

Of the 16 people killed in deer-related accidents over the last three years, 15 were motorcyclists, the DPS says.

In addition, the DPS noted, there were 48 deer-motorcycle fatalities from 2002 to 2012, up nearly five times from the 10 deaths reported from 1991 to 2001.

Citing a survey from State Farm Insurance, the Duluth News Tribune reports that Minnesotans have a 1 in 80 chance of hitting a deer on the road, ranking six on national list for the likelihood of drivers hitting deer.

West Virginia is first in the nation for the odds of hitting a deer (1 in 41) and Hawaii is last (1 in 6,787).

The DPS urges that motorists and motorcyclists be more vigilant at dusk and dawn, when deer are most active.

The agency also suggests several general motorcycle safety tips on the Minnesota DPS website.

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