An analysis data by an insurance company shows the odds of hitting a deer on Iowa highways has dropped. State Farm spokesperson Ann Avery says the odds of hitting a deer in Iowa are now one in 77. “Even though on the national level U.S. drivers are nearly three percent more likely collide with a deer in the next 12 months, in Iowa drivers are 5.5 percent less likely to collide with a deer,” according to Avery.
The national odds of hitting a deer are one in 169. When it comes to the overall possibility of hitting a deer in the 50 states, Iowa’s again ranks in the top five. “Iowa still is ranked fourth in the country according to our information, so it’s something we really want to raise awareness about,” Avery says.
The slight drop in the potential for deer accidents in Iowa comes as the DNR says their program to cut the deer herd has proven successful. Avery says if you are one of the unlucky ones to hit a deer — it can be costly. “The national cost per claim average is $3,388 dollars. And that’s up 13.9 percent from last year,” according to Avery.
She says the best way to avoid running into a deer is to be defensive driver. “We suggest you use extra caution in know deer zones, and of course always use your seatbelts. At night, use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic and avoid swerving when you see a deer,” Avery says. “We urge people to scan the road at all times for deer and other danger signs of course — and not to rely on devices such as deer whistles. Awareness and vigilance are your best approach.”
The months of November, October and December are the times when you are most likely to hit a deer in Iowa due to the hunting and mating seasons. Dusk and dawn are high risk times, as this is when animals are most often on the move.