BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (CBS) — Your chances of hitting a deer with your car in Illinois are much higher than your odds of being struck by lightning, but still, the deer hazard is far less severe in Illinois than in many states.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the list by Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm insurance ranks Illinois 32nd overall among the 50 states when it comes to how likely you are to be involved in a collision with a deer.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
Drivers in West Virginia have the highest odds of hitting a deer – one in 44. West Virginia tops the list for the fifth year in a row.
Drivers in Hawaii have the lowest odds, at one in over 6,200.
Iowa is ranked second in the list, Michigan is ranked fifth, and Wisconsin seventh. Indiana comes in 25th.
Illinois officials say the danger of hitting deer on the roads has actually been dropping. The number of people injured in accidents caused by deer dropped from 842 in 2007 to 708 in 2009 – the most recent year for which figures are available, officials say.
Six people died in such crashes in 2009.
Cook County had by far the most deer-related accidents in 2009, with 639. Will County came in eighth, Lake County ninth and Kane County tenth, with 401, 367, and 361 accidents in 2009, respectively. Six downstate counties also made that list.
State officials say this is the time of year when the danger is the greatest, and the deer are most active around dawn and dusk.
Illinois officials say following standard safety procedures can save lives in a crash with a deer. For example, 60 percent of drivers killed in collisions with deer were not wearing helmets, and 65 percent of motorcyclists were not wearing helmets, the Illinois Department of Transportation said in a news release last year.
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