Mississippi Moves Up In National Deer Collision Rankings - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Who needs a shotgun when you have a car?

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi is listed as the sixth state in the county with the highest likelihood of a deer-vehicle collision.  

Last year it was ranked eighth.

According to new claims data from State Farm, the odds drivers will hit a deer in Mississippi in the coming year are one out of 84, twice the national average of one in 169

Supposedly, changes in collision rates from year to year are a reflection of changing deer densities, or population levels – more deer in a given area increases the potential for collision.

New or improved roads with higher speeds near deer habitat, changes to hunting seasons to manage wildlife, winter conditions, and other related factors are the conditions that affect deer populations.

State Farm, the nation's leading auto insurer, calculates the state by state chances of any single American motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months.

Drivers are most likely to collide with a deer in Mississippi during the months of November, December and January: mostly due to mating and hunting seasons.

And for the eighth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where a collision is most likely to occur.

According to State Farm Spokesman Roszell Gadson, "With an increase in the likelihood of vehicle/deer collisions, it's important that drivers are practicing safe driving habits and watching out for animals on the road."

Injuries, vehicle damage and fatalities all can result from vehicle collisions with deer.  In 2012, 175 deaths were the result of collisions with animals, with deer being the animal most often struck.

These tips could help drivers avoid a collision:

  • ·         Use extra caution in known deer zones
  • ·         Always wear your seatbelt
  • ·         At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams
  • ·         Avoid swerving when you see a deer
  • ·         Scan the road for deer and other danger signs
  • ·         Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles

And here are some deer facts that all drivers should know:

  • ·         Deer are on all roads
  • ·         Deer are unpredictable
  • ·         Deer often move in groups
  • ·         Deer movement is most prevalent in the fall
  • ·         Dusk and dawn are high risk times

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