Based on insurance industry reports, North Dakota ranks 13th in the nation for vehicle collisions with animals.
According to a State Farm Insurance study, most animal-related crashes happen between October and December.
And, while most collisions are with deer (67 percent), other animals likely to be hit are dogs, cats and farm animals.
State Farm says North Dakota drivers have a 1 in 73 chance of colliding with an animal while driving.
The top 10 animal collision states:
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
State Farm also offers some tips on how to avoid becoming a collision statistic:
- Use extra caution and slow-down in known animal crossing zones.
- Slow down. Reduce your vehicle’s speed and maintain a constant lookout for animals. Travel at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if an animal comes into the beam cast by your headlights
- Dusk to dawn are high-risk times; use high beams when appropriate.
- Scan the road and avoid swerving when you see an animal. Brake firmly when you notice an animal in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
If you are involved in an animal crash, State Farm advises:
- Move your vehicle to a safe place: Pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
- Call police: If an animal is blocking traffic and could be create a threat for other drivers.
- Document: Take photographs of the road, your surroundings and damage.
- Stay away from the animal: A frightened, wounded animal could use its legs and hooves to harm you. Do not attempt to move an animal.
- Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive: Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights and other hazard.
- Contact your insurance company: Quickly file your insurance claim.