Risk levels ranked for Heartland states in animal-related crashes

Updated: Nov. 17, 2020 at 9:19 AM CST
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(KFVS) - As the days get colder, it seems like wildlife becomes more active.

According to State Farm®, November is the peak month in which drivers are the most likely to have an animal-related crash.

This also coincides with deer on the move due to rut.

In a new study released from State Farm®, Missouri drivers are at high risk during this time frame to have a wreck involving an animal.

Data shows Missouri drivers have a 1 in 78 chance of hitting an animal, mostly deer, which ranks the state at 15 for most risky.

State Farm® estimates that 54,800 crashes this year in Missouri will involve animals.

Arkansas follows closely behind with a high risk ranking at 16, where 1 in 80 drivers will hit an animal.

Kentucky is also considered high risk. The Commonwealth ranks 19, with 1 in 88 drivers getting into a wreck involving an animal.

Drivers in Tennessee are at medium risk for an animal collision. Tennessee is ranked 32, with 1 in 119 likely to hit an animal.

Illinois is at medium risk with a ranking at 34, with 1 in 148 drivers being involved in an animal-related crash.

The state considered the highest risk for hitting an animal is West Virginia, while the lowest risk is Hawaii.

Overall, the company estimates there were more than 1.9 million animal-related collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

To view the rankings of each state, click here.

To help reduce the risk, drivers are urged to use extra caution in deer zones, be aware that dusk-to-dawn times are active for wildlife and to not to swerve or slam on the brakes if a deer is spotted, but to slow down.

If a driver does hit a deer, State Farm® suggests the following:

  • Move vehicle to a safe place: Pull to the side of the road and turn on hazard lights.
  • Call police: If a deer is blocking traffic, it could be creating a threat for other drivers.
  • Document: Take photographs of the road, surroundings and damage.
  • Avoid the animal: A frightened, wounded deer could use its legs and hooves to injure an individual.
  • Contact insurance company: Quickly file an insurance claim.
  • Don’t assume the vehicle is safe to drive: Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights and other hazards.

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