November is the peak month for animal-related auto crashes, according to a new State Farm study.
November also generally sees deer moving more freely due to mating season, according to a report from Missouri news outlet KFVS.
According to State Farm’s study, West Virginia drivers are the most likely to have an animal-involved crash, with a one in 37 chance. Montana (one in 47), Pennsylvania (one in 51) and South Dakota (one in 53) are also near the top of the list. Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Mississippi, Minnesota and Wyoming round out the top 10 states where drivers are most likely to hit an animal. Hawaii has the lowest risk of animal-related auto accidents, according to State Farm.
To reduce the risk of animal-related crashes, drivers are urged to use extra caution in deer zones, remember that wildlife is often most active between dusk and dawn, and to slow down – rather than swerve or slam on the brakes – if they spot a deer, KFVS reported.
State Farm recommends the following if a driver does hit a deer:
- Move the vehicle to a safe place
- Call the police
- Document the damage, road and surroundings with photographs
- Avoid the animal; a frightened, wounded deer could injure a person with its legs and hooves
- Contact your insurance company
- Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive; check for fluid leaks, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights and other damage