Your chances of hitting deer on Minnesota roads is higher this year.

Drivers on Minnesota highways are slightly more likely to hit a deer this year than last according to an annual assessment by State Farm Insurance.

The company said an estimated 1-in-74 Minnesota drivers will hit a deer or other large animal this year, up from about 1-in-80 drivers in 2016.

Minnesota retained its rank as No. 7 among all 50 states in how likely drivers are to hit a deer on the road.

The insurance company uses insurance claims data to make its estimates. But the increasing odds correlate well with reports of increased deer populations from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which show about 20 percent more deer in forested areas over last year.

It’s the 15th annual deer collision report form State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer. The report also includes collisions with moose, elk and caribou. The company says the likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles in October, November and December, during their mating seasons and when the big animals are being pursued by hunters.

Accidents with deer aren’t just expensive – they also can be deadly. In 2013, the most recent year with complete data available, 191 people died as a result of vehicle collisions with animals across the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

 

Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) is the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program, employing an interdisciplinary approach to reducing traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths on Minnesota roads.