Mississippi ranks 10th in the nation for deer collisions - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi ranks 10th in the nation for deer collisions

Source: IIHS Source: IIHS
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

According to the latest data from State Farm, 22,700 claims were filed in Mississippi during the past year for deer collisions.

"It's pretty regular that… hit a deer, hit a deer hit a deer," explained State Farm Agent Steve Higginbotham.

 Higginbotham knows the busiest season is coming up.

"The average claims about $4,000 when you hit a deer," said Higginbotham. "And we have had several that just totaled the car. They just wipe them out."

It turns out that the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks keeps a close eye on the claim numbers, too. It helps give them a better idea of the total population.

"We've noticed looking at these estimates, these deer-vehicle collision estimates, over the last couple of years it's kind of stabilized which is a good thing," noted Wildlife Bureau Director Chad Dacus. "It had risen very rapidly through the 90's and early 2000's and then planed off over the last five or six years."

Days are getting shorter which means more drivers on the roads at dawn and dusk. That makes the hits more probable. But there are plenty of other factors at play.

"We're running into semi drought," Dacus said. "There's not as much vegetation in the woods. Not as much food in the woods right now. So they're looking for tender growth which is on the sides of the roads. It's been manicured."

Deer hit frequency spikes in fall and winter months because it's their mating season and they're on the move.

In case you were wondering, drivers in West Virginia are the most likely to hit a deer.

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