A car drives past a deer crossing sign on Tucker Mill Road. The chances of an auto-deer collision more than double in October, November and December. File / staff
Photo: Steve Deal
Photo: Steve Deal

Your chances of hitting a deer are greater than ever

The odds drivers will file a claim from hitting a deer, elk or moose are 1 in 169, according to the latest numbers from State Farm.

Those are the same odds as last year nationwide, but Georgia moved up in the rankings for 2014-15. 

For 2013-14, the chance of hitting one of these animals in Georgia was 1 in 134, ranking the state 21st nationwide.

But for 2014-2015, Georgia moved up two spots, with a driver's chance of a collision rising to 1 in 128. That's a 4.7 percent increase.

If you live in Gwinnett, you need to be extra careful. 

Gwinnett led the metro area in the number of deer-vehicle collisions, with 1,082 reported from 2012 through August 2014. Check out our interactive map to see where Gwinnett accidents happened.

West Virginia topped the State Farm list for the ninth year in a row, with odds of 1 in 44 that drivers will need to file a claim after hitting a deer, elk or moose.

Rounding out the top five are Montana, Iowa, Pennsylvania and South Dakota, in that order.

The likelihood of a collision more than doubles during October, November and December, State Farm says.

In 2013, 191 people were killed in collisions with animals, State Farm says, with deer being the creature most often struck.

So, how can avoid becoming a statistic? The insurance company says drivers should know:

  • Deer are on all roads
  • Deer are unpredictable
  • Deer often move in groups
  • Their movement is most prevalent in the fall
  • The hours between dusk and dawn are high risk times

These tips might also help you to avoid an accident: 

  • Use extra caution in known deer zones
  • At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams
  • Avoid swerving when you see a deer
  • Scan the road for deer and other danger signs

Sometimes an accident is just unavoidable. State Farm offers advice on what to do if you hit a deer.

With a little caution, you might able to avoid being one of the 1.25 million people involved in an auto-deer collision.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.