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Report: Number of deer-vehicle collisions drops

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — For the third consecutive year, the number of deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. has dropped, and the State of Mississippi is part of the trend, according to insurer State Farm.

The likelihood of a deer-vehicle collision in the state is down 8 percent over the past year. Approximately one in 143 drivers in the state could expect to see an encounter with deer. The projected overall number of collisions in the state over the past year is estimated at 13,489.

Using its claims data, State Farm estimates 1.09 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011. That is 9 percent less than three years ago and 7 percent fewer than one year ago.

For the fifth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to run into a deer. Using its claims data in conjunction with state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm calculates the chances of a West Virginia motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at one in 53, an improvement over a year ago when the odds were one in 42.

State Farm’s data shows that November, the heart of the deer migration and mating season, is the month during which deer-vehicle encounters are most likely. More than 18 percent of all such mishaps take place during the 30 days of November. A confrontation between a deer and a vehicle will occur once every five seconds in the United States in November.

Deer-vehicle collisions are three times more likely to occur on a day in November than they are on any day between Feb. 1 and Aug. 31. October is the second most likely month for a crash involving a deer and a vehicle. December is third.

The average property damage cost of these incidents during the final half of 2010 and the first half of 2011 was $3,171, up 2.2 percent from the year before.

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