BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The rate of car versus deer collisions in the United States has grown 18.3 percent in the past five years, a study by State Farm says.
The report released Monday estimated there were 2.4 million incidents in which deer and vehicles collided in the two-year period between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009, or around 100,000 every month.
West Virginia remained the state with the highest likelihood of a deer strike with a 1-in-39 chance a drive will end up with a too-close encounter with a deer that can cause serious injury to the motorist and extensive body damage to the car.
Michigan was the next most-likely state to hit a deer followed by Pennsylvania and Iowa. The least-likely state is Hawaii where the odds about 1-in-9,931.
There were 35 states with at least 7,000 deer collisions annually. New Jersey and Nebraska reported 54-percent increases in such incidents over the past five years.
The study said early evening and the late-autumn months were most likely times for collisions to occur. Drivers are urged to be wary of posted deer-crossings, use their high-beam headlights when driving in the country and remember that deer are herd animals, so if you see one there are probably others nearby.