October 1, 2013
The odds that you'll hit a deer while driving around Virginia roads have gone down.
A new survey by insurance group State Farm says odds of deer collisions over the course of the next year are down 4.3 percent. The finding is based on claims data and numbers from the Federal Highway Administration.
Still, Virginia ranks 12th among all states for the likelihood of deer collisions.
State Farm agent Gary Albert said if drivers see deer on the side of the road, it's best to slow down.
"There's never just one," he said. "If you see a deer that's on the side of the road that looks like it's eating some grass or starting to come across, go ahead and slow down and look for the rest of the family."
State Farm says November is the month that deer collisions are most common, but October comes in second and December is third. Albert said if a collision with a deer is imminent, it's best to hit it head-on instead of swerving out of the way to prevent further damage.
Crashes with animals fall under separate claims than other collisions, so Albert said drivers should check with insurance agencies to see if deer collisions fall under their coverage.
"Hitting an animal, actually making contact with an animal, is not considered your fault," he said. "So, it's a different type of claim and usually more friendly in your overall insurance picture than a collision loss that could be considered your fault."
The exact odds of hitting a deer in Virginia are one in 96.