Minnesota drivers are more likely to hit a deer this year compared to last year, survey shows


Most vehicle-deer collisions occur in the fall, and this year Minnesotans are more likely to hit a deer than they were last year, according to State Farm Insurance.

The odds a motorist will hit a deer in Minnesota are nearly 9 percent more likely than last year, with the odds being one in 81. That's compared to the national average of one in 169.

Minnesota is now ranked seventh in the country for the most deer collisions, up from eighth in 2014. West Virginia tops the list of states where a collision is most likely – the odds of hitting a deer there are one in 44.

The majority of deer-related crashes happen in the months of November, October and June, mostly due to hunting and mating seasons, the Brainerd Dispatch says.

In 2013, there were 2,096 vehicle-deer collisions in Minnesota, the state Department of Public Safety notes, including eight crashes that resulted in fatalities.

And these accidents can be costly. State Farm estimates there were over 1.25 million auto-deer collision claims in the United States between July 1, 2014, and June 30 of this year, which cost drivers an average of $4,135 per claim.

The Minnesota Department of Safety has tips to avoid deer-related crashes, including reminding motorists to "never veer for deer" because swerving can take a motorist into oncoming traffic or off the road.

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