Maine ranks as high risk, and 22nd across the country, in animal collision study – Mainebiz

8October 2020

Maine drivers have a 1-in-91 opportunity of hitting an animal while driving, ranking them 22nd in the nation and at high danger for critter collisions, according to a State Farm insurance study launched Wednesday.

According to the Maine Department of Transport, such accidents cost the state’s motorists and insurer about $893,000 a year in injuries and damages.

State Farm had 1,365 car claims for Maine animal collisions in 2019; the study consists of all animals, from moose to farm animals to dogs to rodents. State Farm ranks a state at high danger if there is a minimum of a 1-in-100 possibility of colliding with an animal while driving.

In general, the state Department of Transportation tape-recorded almost 6,467 animal collisions in 2018, the last year for which data were readily available. So far, there have been 3,292 recorded by the state.

Overall in the U.S., 1 in 116 drivers will collide with an animal over the course of a year. The majority of animal-related crashes throughout the nation take place from October to December, according to State Farm, with most crashes — 67%– with deer. That’s the case in Maine, too, with deer involved in 5,292 of the 2018 mishaps.

In Maine, deer crashes represented 92.7% of animal collissions between 2014-28, a whopping 25,643 mishaps out of 27,300 reported accidents over that five-year period, compared to 1,484 with moose, 141 with bears, 203 with turkers and 829 with other animals,

The State Farm research study found that given that the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, there was a 20% reduction (more than 70,000 claims) in animal crashes since of fewer chauffeurs being on the roadway.

In Maine, traffic volume dropped by 50% at the start of the pandemic, state DOT officials said. Existing statewide vehicle-miles took a trip levels are still down in between 5% and 10% of what they were at this time in 2015.

“We have not taken a look at wildlife crashes throughout the COVID period specifically,” Bob Skehan, director of security for the Maine DOT, informed Mainebiz. “Although crash data can vary substantially from year to year, I think it would be safe to state we’re somewhat below the previous 2 years. This is rather most likely due to reduced traffic volumes statewide during the COVID duration, however not a certainty.”

The state has an active project to alert drivers to animal crashes, and worries November is “deer collision month,” as the animals travel more, aiming to reproduce.

A few of the stats from the State Farm research study:

  • There were 43,219 crashes with birds in 2015; 15,000 of those with turkeys;
  • There were 1.55 million accidents with deer nationwide in 2019;
  • Stock represented 33,007 accidents (consists of pig, hog, cow, goat, sheep, horse, donkey);
  • Animals (pet dogs and cats) combined for an overall of 102,051 crashes across the country:
  • There were 21,000-plus State Farm declares involving big wild animals (bears, elk, moose, caribou, ox, antelope, wild boar). Safety
  • belts saved an approximated 114,955 lives across the country in 2017.

The top 10 risk states, in order of danger, were West Virginia, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Mississippi, Minnesota and Wyoming.

Both the state of Maine and State Farm say that collisions with animals can be avoided if drivers use additional caution and slow down in known animal crossing zones and utilize high beams when appropriate.Source: mainebiz.biz

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