Odds rank New Jersey No. 33, with 1 in 232 possibility of collision
 
It’s officially fall, and the odds of you hitting a deer while driving more than doubles during October, November and December.
 
State Farm® released the results of its 16th annual deer-vehicle collisions study on Oct. 1, 2018.  The deer claim study ranks states by the likelihood a driver has of hitting a large animal, including deer, elk, moose and caribou over a given time period.  Results indicate New Jersey drivers have increased their risk of deer collisions this year, moving from 34th place to 33rd place. The likelihood of hitting a large animal in New Jersey is 1 in 232, but is 1 in 167 nationally.  
 
“Overall, large animal collisions dropped slightly to 1.33 million in the U.S. between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018,” said Westfield State Farm Agent Christine Cosenza.  “This is despite the fact that there are nearly four million more licensed drivers.”
 
 
We’re entering the prime of deer season now. Additional data from the State Farm shows nearly half (46 percent) of all deer-related crashes in New Jersey occur October to December when weather cools and they are most active.  
 
“There is also an increased risk of collision with deer around dawn and dusk,” added Christine. 

 
The annual State Farm deer claim study uses claims data and state licensed driver counts in its study. Part of the study also tracks claim expenses which have also increased.
 
Top 5 Risk States:
  1. West Virginia
  2. Montana
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Iowa
33.  New Jersey
 
“Drivers should be engaged, alert and on the lookout at all times,” said Christine. “You never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may cross your path of travel.” 
 
Christine shared the following tips to avoid a deer collision and what to do if one does occur.

 
What you can do:
  • Use extra caution and slow-down in known deer zones.
  • Dusk to dawn are high-risk times; use high beams when appropriate.
  • Scan the road and avoid swerving when you see a deer.
  • 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 a deer 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 deer 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.