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Just how likely are you to hit a deer in Illinois, Missouri?

Earlier this week, State Farm Insurance released its annual report outlining on a state-by-state basis the odds that a motorist will be involved in a car accident with a deer over the course of the next 12 months.  

Examination of both claims data and data from the Federal Highway Administration resulted in West Virginia earning the top spot -- the eighth year in a row -- as the place where motorists are most likely to hit a deer with 1 in 39 odds. In Illinois, there is a 1 in 162 chance of hitting a deer and in Missouri, motororists have 1 in 116 odds of a deer collision.  On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii once again earned the lowest spot -- also the eighth year in a row -- as the place where motorists were least likely to hit a deer with 1 in 10,281 odds.

By comparison, the national odds of striking a deer with a car were found to be one in 169.

Closer to home, the report found the following concerning deer-car crashes in both Illinois and Missouri:

  • The odds of motorists in Illinois being involved in a deer-related car crash in the next 12 months are 1 in 211, while the odds of motorists in Missouri being involved in a deer-related car crash in the next 12 months are 1 in 124.
  • Illinois is ranked 31st in the nation for motor vehicle accidents involving deer, while Missouri is ranked 18th in the nation for motor vehicle accidents involving deer.

Given that both the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that as many as 175 people lost their lives in car accidents involving animals -- most commonly deer -- in 2012, safety experts are offering the following tips when traveling the roads and highways during the fall season:

  • Always make sure all vehicle occupants are wearing their seat belts.
  • When entering an area with a posted deer crossing exercise extra caution, scanning both the road and roadside for potential dangers.
  • Use high beams at night when there is no oncoming traffic and avoid placing too much reliance on deer whistles and other such devices.
  • Do not swerve and reduce your speed if a deer is spotted.

If you been seriously injured in an accident that was not caused by a deer, but rather by a negligent driver, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your rights and your options for securing justice.

Sources: The Rock River Times, "Illinois remains high in car-deer collisions," Sept. 15, 2014; The Springfield News Leader, " State Farm: Fewer Missouri deer reduces crash rates," Sept. 18, 2014

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