Virginia drivers have 1-in-94 chance of hitting a deer

Published: Sep. 21, 2016 at 5:56 PM EDT
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Every time you get into a car, there’s a chance of getting into a collision. But what are the odds of colliding with a deer, instead of another vehicle?

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, those chances are pretty high.

“I would love to say that deer accidents only happen in certain areas, but I have customers in the middle of Roanoke City say they see deer in their yards, on busy roads like 419. They are everywhere,” State Farm agent Betsy Thomas said.

According to State Farm, Virginia drivers have a 1-in-94 chance of hitting a deer in the coming year. The insurance company used claims data and state licensed driver counts to calculate those chances.

Dean Martin, owner of Cave Spring Auto Body said he sees between 60 to 80 drivers come into his shop during the fourth quarter of the year for accidents involving deer.

“Most of it’s front end damage, head lights, bumpers, fenders…those are the easy ones. The bad ones are the ones that get towed in,” Martin said.

He also said it could cost between $1,500 to $2,000 to repair things like front end damage, and if it’s worse? Up to $4,000 for repairs.

“The average deer claim in Virginia is $4,000 worth of damage on a car, so they can be pretty significant,” Thomas said.

State Farm reps are giving out some tips to help keep drivers safe:

-Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds; If you see one, there are probably more nearby.

-Be aware of posted deer crossing signs.

-Remember that deer are most active between dusk and dawn, and during the months of October through December.

-Use your high beams as much as possible.

State Farm advises drivers to slow down in deer zones and avoid swerving when seeing a deer.

“We can fix your car, we can’t fix you,” Martin said.