MORRIS PLAINS, NJ - It’s officially fall, and the odds of you hitting an animal while driving greatly increases during October, November and December.

State Farm® released the results of its animal collisions study on October 1, 2019.  The study ranks states by the likelihood a driver has of hitting an animal, using State Farm claims data from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.  Results indicate the likelihood of hitting an animal in New Jersey is 1 in 155, but is 1 in 116 nationally.  New Jersey ranks #36 out of all states where drivers are most likely to collide with an animal.

It is estimated there were 1.9 million animal collision claims industry-wide over the period from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, nationally.  The large majority of animal collisions are with deer, and during the same time period, it is estimated there were 1.5 million deer claims industry-wide.

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Top 5 Risk States:

  1. West Virginia
  2. Montana
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. South Dakota
  5. Iowa

      36.  New Jersey

The months drivers are most likely to collide with an animal in the U.S. are, in this order:

  1. November
  2. October
  3. December

Remember, animals are unpredictable, especially when faced with glaring headlights, blowing horns and fast-moving vehicles.  They often dart into traffic.  Also, animals are not only on rural roads.  Many animal-vehicle crashes occur on city streets and on busy highways.  Some wild animals move in herds, so if you see one, there are likely more.

What you can do:

  • Use extra caution and slow-down in known animal zones
  • Dusk to dawn are high-risk times; use high beams when appropriate
  • Scan the road and avoid swerving when you see a large animal
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer

After-crash tips:

  • Move your vehicle to a safe place: Pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Call police:  If an animal is blocking traffic, it could be creating a threat for other drivers.
  • Document: Take photographs of the road, your surroundings and damage.
  • Avoid the animal: A frightened, wounded animal could use its legs and hooves to harm you.
  • Contact your insurance company: Quickly file your insurance claim.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive: Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights and other hazards.

Have questions about your coverage? Contact Teri at 973-285-5558 or visit their website at https://www.teridigrande.com/?cmpid=rx6j_blm_0001