It's no surprise, but Minnesota is ranked 7th on a new survey of states where you're more likely to hit a deer with your vehicle.

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State Farm insurance's 15th annual Deer Claim Survey just released the Top 10 states where you're most likely to run into a deer with your car. And while we're not number-one (that'd be West Virginia), Minnesota still came in at #7 this year.

And hitting a deer with your vehicle isn't cheap-- not to mention not all that fun for the deer. The survey says the average claim after a car-deer collision will cost about $4,179, up from $3,995 last year.

Here's some good news, though: According to the report, you're more likely to hit a deer in  most of our neighboring states than here in Minnesota.  South Dakota comes in at #6 this year; Wisconsin is ranked 5th, and Iowa is #4 on the list.

Have you ever hit a deer with your car? I did-- on Christmas Eve, no less. I was driving back from my parent's house on a four-lane divided highway, and the deer came out of the median and ran into my front fender. It then bounced off the car, and hit it again in the rear fender.

Luckily, nobody in my car was injured. And the deer (which family members said could have been Rudolph-- it WAS Christmas Eve, after all), apparently wasn't injured, either, because he kept running off into the woods.

To help avoid a car-deer collision, State Farm's report has these tips:

 

  • Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
  • If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
  • Always buckle up - every trip, every time.
  • Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
  • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving. This can result in a more severe crash.
  • Remain focused on the road. Scan for hazards, including animals.
  • Avoid distractions. Devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal.