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November most dangerous month for deer strikes in Pennsylvania

Jacob Tierney
| Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, 11:57 a.m.
A lone deer crosses Field Club Road in front of the Fox Chapel High School.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
A lone deer crosses Field Club Road in front of the Fox Chapel High School.
A car passes a deer warning sign Wednesday, May 27, 2015, along Rochester Road, just off Route 19 (Perry Highway) in Ross.
James Knox | Trib Total Media
A car passes a deer warning sign Wednesday, May 27, 2015, along Rochester Road, just off Route 19 (Perry Highway) in Ross.

Deer mating season is in full swing, which means more deer on the roads causing hundreds of crashes across the state.

November is the deadliest season for deer strikes, followed by October and December, according to insurance company State Farm, which publishes an annual deer claim study.

Deer collisions killed 12 Pennsylvanians last year, according to PennDOT.

Deer strikes on the rise

The number of deer-related accidents has climbed in nine of the last 10 years, according to PennDOT.

PennDOT has included information about animal strikes in its annual crash report since 1996.

Last year was the worst on record, with 4,018 reported deer strikes statewide. That's 11 percent higher than the previous record of 3,618, set in 2015. Deer cause the majority of the state's animal crashes — 95 percent, according to PennDOT.

State Farm ranks Pennsylvania third in the country for deer crashes, behind West Virginia and Montana.

Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-63 chance of hitting a deer, the company estimates.

There's no need to worry about deer on the road in Hawaii — drivers there have a 1-in-6,823 chance of hitting a deer, the best odds in the nation and more than 100 times safer than Pennsylvania.

Sometimes a deer collision can't be avoided, but AAA has published tips for drivers to reduce their risk and minimize the damage in case of an accident.

• Keep an eye on the shoulders of the road to provide extra reaction time if an animal is near the road. High beams can also help spot deer if there's no oncoming traffic.

•Where there's one deer, there's usually more close behind.

• Drivers should be especially careful at dawn and dusk, when deer are most active.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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