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September 15, 2015

Report: Pennsylvania fourth in nation for deer collision claims

Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the nation for insurance claims involving collisions with deer, elk or moose, according to data released Monday by State Farm Insurance.

The state’s nationwide ranking fell slightly from No. 2 last year, based on the data gathered between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015.

  • Pay attention to "deer crossing" signs.
  • At night, use high-beams when possible to illuminate the road's edges.
  • Pay particular attention between dusk and dawn.
  • Don't swerve to avoid the animal.
  • Always obey speed limits and wear seat belts.

An estimated 1.25 million claims happened in the past year resulting from collisions with animals, according to the report.

"A state like Pennsylvania is consistently in the top six," State Farm's spokesperson Dave Phillips told Bucks County Courier Times"In PA, you have the mountains and the woodlands that makes up the animals’ natural habitat but then you factor in other things like urban sprawl or development or a bad winter."

According to PennDOT, there were 3,487 hit-deer crashes in Pennsylvania in 2014, resulting in nine fatalities. Of those, 140 were reported in Bucks County, with no fatalities, and 118, with no deaths, were reported in Montgomery County, PennDOT data shows.

With mating season around the corner, Phillips added that November is the biggest month for deer collision claims, with October not far behind.

West Virginia has topped the list for nine straight years, Phillips said.