The chances of New York State drivers hitting a deer this year remain about the same as last year, according to State Farm insurance. But those car-deer collisions are getting more expensive.
State Farm estimates that 1 out of 161 New York motorists will strike a deer in the coming year, near the national average of 1 out of 162. The state ranks 30th in the nation. In previous years, State Farm reported that the state had more than 70,000 car-deer crashes annually.
Meanwhile, the average cost of an insurance claim due to an encounter with a deer has gone up. Between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, it was $3,995.
For 2016-17, it was $4,179, a 4.6 percent increase.
State Farm issued the report at the start of the peak time for collisions, when deer mating season begins. November is the month when the most car-deer accidents happen, the insurer noted, followed by October and December.
New York motorists stand a bigger risk of hitting a deer if they travel to neighboring states.
In Pennsylvania, which has the third-highest incidence of deer crashes in the nation, it’s estimated that 1 in 63 drivers will strike one of the animals during the coming year. Worst of all is West Virginia, where the ratio is 1 in 43.
State Farm offers several tips for avoiding deer. They include:
• Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn, when the animals are most active.
• Be alert in areas marked with deer crossing signs.
• Avoid distractions, such as eating or using electronic devices.
• If one deer crosses the road, be extra cautious. There’s a good chance more will follow.