Study finds SC drivers more likely to hit deer while driving

Viewer Franklin Mccarter posted this to the WMBF News Facebook page, stating it happened on Highway 501 while going out to Conway.
Viewer Franklin Mccarter posted this to the WMBF News Facebook page, stating it happened on Highway 501 while going out to Conway.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – South Carolina drivers have an above-average chance of striking a deer while driving, according to a recent study from State Farm Insurance.

This weekend, a motorcycle driver and passenger were taken to a hospital after a deer struck them and they lost control. The passenger later died from multiple blunt force trauma sustained in the accident.

Last week, a viewer posted a photo to our Facebook page, stating that the broken windshield and other damage was the result of hitting a deer on Highway 501 near Conway.

Tune in to WMBF News Monday evening for a full report on deer collisions on Grand Strand and Pee Dee roads, including what you can do to avoid them.

While nation-wide, the chances of a driver crashing into a deer in the next year declined by 4.3 percent to 1 in 174, in South Carolina, the chances are 1 in 92.

For the seventh year in a row, deer versus vehicle collisions are most probable in West Virginia: just 1 in 41.

"The state in which deer-vehicle mishaps are least likely is still Hawaii (1 in 6,787)," State Farm representatives stated in a news release.  "The odds of a driver in Hawaii colliding with a deer between now and 12 months from now are approximately equal to the odds of a middle-of-the-pack National Football League team running off 13 wins in a row."

State farm data shows that November is the month when collisions are more likely in the heart of deer hunting and mating seasons. About 18 percent of deer/vehicle accidents happen that month, with October being the second-most likely month.

The average property damage cost of these incidents was $3,414, according to the State Farm study.

State Farm offers the following tips to reduce the chance of a deer-vehicle collision:

  • Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
  • Be aware of posted deer crossing signs.  These are placed in active deer crossing areas.
  • Remember that deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
  • Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
  • If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Don't rely on car-mounted deer whistles.

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