White-tailed deer are on the move as they search for mates during the annual fall mating season, and the evidence on the shoulders of the region highways shows too often they are meeting fenders instead.
Insurance industry data ranking by state the likelihood of a deer-vehicle collision show Virginia is 12th and Maryland 13th. There are about 80,000 collisions a year with deer in the Washington region, the research suggests.
Neighboring West Virginia is the state where drivers are most likely to run into a deer.
There are an estimated 30 million deer in the United States, and their collisions with vehicles result in about 150 human deaths and about 10,000 injuries. Insurance Information Institute estimates from 2009 put the cost of the accidents at $4.6 billion a year. The institute said the average claim per accident was $3,000.
“Although an increasing number of deer are appearing year round, November is the month when metro area motorists need to be extra cautious,” said John B. Townsend II of the American Automobile Association. “Deer-vehicle crashes are three times more likely to occur during the 30 days of November than any other day between the months of February and August.”