Deer-related Collisions Are Up - Delmarva Ranked High Risk Area - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Deer-related Collisions Are Up - Delmarva Ranked High Risk Area

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DELMARVA - The 2012 numbers are now in, and according to State Farm, the number of deer-related collisions is up by 7.7% over the previous year.

Delmarva is apparently considered a medium-to-high risk area. Delaware ranks 22 in the nation, Maryland ranks 14 and Virginia ranks 10. You have a 1 in 140 chance of hitting a deer in Delaware, a 1 in 115 chance in Maryland, and the likelihood of a deer collision in Virginia is 1 in 103.

Do you know what to do when you see a deer in the road? "The initial reaction would be to swerve or slam on the brakes," Francine Basciano of Salisbury, MD said. "I actually swerved out of the way instead of hitting the brakes and I actually side swiped a tree," Jeremy Everson of Hurlock, MD said. That, clearly, is not the best thing to do. "Try no to attempt to swerve because you could have caused more damage by either going into a ditch, hit a tree or swerve onto oncoming traffic," State Farm agent Gamee Elliott said.

If you see a deer crossing sign, keep your eyes open and scan the area. Also keep in mind - deer travel in herds, so if you see one, slow down because it's likely there's another nearby. You'll also want to be extra attentive in the evening - deer are usually out between 6 and 9. Turn on your high beams or honk the horn to scare them away, and don't rely on car-mounted deer whistles - there isn't any scientific evidence that they actually work.

The average damage cost of deer collisions for July 2011 - June 2012 was $3,305, a 4.4% increase over the previous year. To avoid the these hefty costs and any injuries or even death, the best thing to do is to simply be alert. "Driver awareness is important in any situation, but for deer, you really have to be looking left and right when you're in an area that is near a wooded area, an open field, and you know it could be a deer area. Be on the lookout," Elliott said.

If you are in a deer-related accident, it's important to notify both your insurance company and the police. It's also a good idea to review your insurance policy and make sure you know your comprehensive deductible. Depending on your coverage, it could be anywhere from $250 to a $1000 deductible.

For more information, visit the State Farm website at www.statefarm.com.

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