INDIANA — In many states, drivers are all too familiar with deer crossing signs, but do they really know how close the danger may be? State Farm has released its annual deer claim study, which ranks states by the potential drivers had of hitting a large animal, including deer, elk and moose over a given time period.
On average, one of every 145 Indiana drivers will have an insurance claim for damage caused by a collision with a deer this year. That is down from one in 136 last year.
The average cost for deer-vehicle claims has gone up nationwide to $4,179 from $3,995. The likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during the months of October, November and December, during deer mating season. Whether you hit a large animal or it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage. No matter where you live, it’s important to keep your eyes up and focus on the road, helping you take action in the event a large animal is suddenly in your path. Some other tips to help keep drivers safe include:
- Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn
- If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs
- Always buckle up, every trip, every time
- Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic
- 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