As Ohio drives toward stabilizing its white-tail herd one benefit is that the state's highways are being splattered with fewer road kills.
The Ohio Insurance Institute's annual autumn assessment of deer-motor vehicle accidents showed a decline of 7.5 percent in 2012 when compared to 2011, which also was better off than its comparable 2010 number. The total figures were 20,996, 22,696, and 23,201, respectively.
However, this being said, last year the Insurance Institute, the Ohio Highway Patrol, and the Ohio Division of Wildlife reports that 1,013 motorists were still injured while six people were killed during such collisions.
At least both of these gruesome figures fell slightly from those tallied in 2011.
Nationally, approximately 200 people are killed annually in deer-motor vehicle accidents.
When looking at Ohio's 88 individual county-by-county statistics for 2012 the counties with the highest number of deer-motor vehicle accidents were: Stark (559), Richland (535), Hamilton (522), Clermont (472), and Lorain (470). And of these five counties only Clermont County's numbers were up, says the Insurance Institute.
Conversely, the five counties with fewest number of deer-motor vehicle accidents in 2012 were: Monroe (15), Morgan (27), Carroll (26), Harrison (37), and Perry (43). Only Perry County showed an increase as well.
Importantly also, says both the Insurance Institute and the Ohio Highway Patrol is that most deer-motor vehicle accidents happen between 5 p.m. And 1 a.m., followed by 5 a.m. To 8 a.m. Together these two periods accounted for fully 78 percent of all deer-motor vehicle accidents in Ohio.
To no deer hunter's surprise the number of deer-motor vehicle accidents are centered around October through November. This is the time frame generally regarded as the rut, or the species' primary breeding period.
So just what are the odds of an Ohio driver experiencing a deer-motor vehicle accident?
Here the Insurance Institute places those odds at 1 in 135. That places Ohio 22nd nationally which has odds of 1 in 174.
As for the states where a driver was most likely to become involved in a deer-motor vehicle accident in 2012 the Top Five in descending order were: West Virginia (odds of 1 in 41), Montana (1 in 65 odds), Iowa (1 in 73 odds), South Dakota (1 in 75 odds), and Pennsylvania (1 in 77 odds).
At least, says State Farm Insurance which compiled these statistics, these five states did see reduced odds last year when compared to 2011.
Oh, one more thing about these odds, says State Farm.
Hawaiian car drivers have the best chances of experiencing a deer-motor vehicle accident. The odds for such an encounter in the Aloha State are 1 in 6,787, but, yes, Hawaii is home to a deer species; Axis deer, to be exact.
In terms of repair cost, the national average is $3,414, though injuries will increase that figure substantially, the Insurance Institute says.
Bundle all the stats together and in Ohio alone the total expense is more than $72 million, with the bulk of the reimbursement coming out of the insured's comprehensive portion of his or her's auto insurance policy.
Importantly, too, says the Insurance Institute, such collisions alone are not likely to impact one's auto insurance premiums.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn