Don't Strike a Deer with your Car This Year

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Tennessee drivers are nearly 16 percent more likely to collide with a deer than they were last year, according to new claims data from State Farm. The odds drivers will hit a deer in Tennessee are 1 out of 147, above the national odds of 1 in 164.

Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm, the nation's leading auto insurer, estimates the state by state chances of any single American motorist striking a deer, elk or moose.

More 2016 State Farm deer collisions facts:

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  • Tennessee is ranked 26th in the country for the most deer collisions
  • The national cost per claim average is $3,995 down slightly from 2015 when the average was $4,135.

The months a driver is most likely to collide with a deer in Tennessee, mostly due to mating season, are:

  • November

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  • December

  • October

  • For the tenth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where a collision is most likely with1 in 41 odds.

Avoid becoming a statistic

Injuries, vehicle damage and fatalities all can result from vehicle collisions with deer. In 2013, 191 deaths were the result of collisions with animals, with deer being the animal most often struck, according to the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

These tips could help drivers avoid a collision:

  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs

  • Always buckle up, every trip, every time

  • Use your high beams, when possible, to see farther

  • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving, which could result in a more severe crash

  • Remain focused on the road, scanning for hazards, including animals

  • Avoid distractions, like devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal

  • Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven effective

  • If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep focus on the road ahead

And here are some deer facts that all drivers should know:

  • Deer are on all roads

  • Deer are unpredictable

  • Deer often move in groups

  • Deer movement is most prevalent in the fall

  • Dusk to dawn are high risk times

"There is an increased risk of a collision with deer around dawn and dusk, and also during the fall breeding season," said Kip Diggs, State Farm spokesperson. "We encourage drivers to be aware and on the lookout at all times, because you never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may unexpectedly be in your path."

For more safety tips and state-by-state statistics, please visit http://st8.fm/16deer

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