The chances of hitting a deer in Maine are rising.

You've seen the blood stains and the dead body on the side of the road.  Here in Maine we know when it's time to slow down and avoid a deer.  But, in a lot of instances there's nothing that you can do to avoid hitting one.

State Farm Insurance has recently compiled data that shows Maine drivers are nearly 20% more likely to hit a deer this year than last.

From a State Farm issued news release, "the odds drivers will hit a deer in Maine the coming year are 1 out of 150, below the national odds of 1 in 169."

State Farm used its "claims data" along with "driver counts" from the Federal Highway Administration to calculate the odds of hitting a deer state by state.

Maine ranked 24th in the nation for most deer collisions.  What time of the year are we most likely to hit a deer?  During mating season.  November, October and December are the top three months according to claims filed with State Farm. The average national cost for a deer collision is $3,888.

For eight straight years now West Virginia has topped the list of states where motorists are most likely to hit a deer with odds of 1 in 39.  Hawaii is at the bottom of the list.

Here's some advice to avoid a deer collision:

  • Use extra caution in known deer zones.  Remember that deer travel in groups.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams.  And, don't "outrun" your headlights.
  • 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.
  • Dusk and dawn are high risk times.