Wisconsin in Top 5 for vehicle vs. deer collisions
Wisconsin has moved up to No. 5 on the State Farm insurance list of states with the most vehicle crashes involving deer.
State Farm's 15th annual deer claim study ranks states by the likelihood a driver has of hitting a large animal, including deer, elk, moose and caribou, over a given time period.
"Wisconsin drivers moved from No. 6 to No. 5 on the top 10 list this year, due to an increase in deer collisions," according to a statement from State Farm.
The likelihood of having an insurance claim involving a deer was 1 out of every 72 Wisconsin drivers — a 6% increase from 2016, according to State Farm.
The top 10 states according to State Farm are:
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
The chance of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during October, November and December — deer mating season.
State Farm is the No. 2 auto insurer in Wisconsin behind Madison-based American Family.
American Family's average deer-vehicle claim payment was 6.2% higher last year than in 2015, the insurer said in a statement.
"The increased cost is partly attributed to advances in car technology, which include features that are expensive to replace," it said.
Injuries to humans can be very serious and sometimes deadly when a vehicle hits a deer.
The Wisconsin State Patrol said three women from Germany died this week after the vehicle they were traveling in struck a deer in western Wisconsin.
Officials say the women were westbound on I-90 near Sparta about 7:30 p.m. Sunday when the collision occurred. A tractor-trailer then crashed into the back of the vehicle, which had slowed down on the interstate. The tractor trailer then overturned.
The State Patrol said two of the victims were 20 and the third woman was 22. The driver of the semi was treated at a Sparta hospital for injuries that did not appear life-threatening.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Henry Eder, 85, of Mequon was driving home from his job at a Germantown American Legion post around 7 p.m., when his car collided with four deer running in a cluster across Mequon Road east of Highway 145.
"I slammed on the brakes and leaned over in the seat because it looked like one was coming through the windshield," Eder said. "It all happened so fast."
He wasn't hurt, but his 2011 Chevy Malibu had more than $3,000 worth of damage.
Eder said the crash shook him up.
"It took me a day to calm down," he said.
Brittany Seemuth of the Northwest NOW staff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.