(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig says officers have worked several car-deer accidents this year involving thousands of dollars in damage and he is expecting there will be many more.
"It's the time of the year when farmers are finishing up the harvest season, deer are mating and hunting seasons have begun and vehicle-deer accidents have increased," Craig says.
According to a study by State Farm Insurance, November has the highest number of crashes, followed closely by October.
"In many of the accidents the deer have dashed into the pathways of vehicles," Craig says. "It is a dangerous situation and motorists need to pay close attention to their surroundings, drive with caution and slow down."
According to police logs most of the deer-vehicle accidents happen just before dawn and just after dusk.
According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, in 2011 (the most recent data available) there were 15,205 deer-related collisions in the state.
But according to State Farm Insurance, the likelihood of a collision with a deer has declined 23 percent in Indiana.
In last year's survey, Indiana ranked 27th. The state now ranks 33rd, with drivers having a 1-in-218 chance of hitting a deer, according to the study.
State Farm predicts the number of deer crashes in 2013 in Indiana will be around 30,100.
For the sixth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to run into a deer.
Using claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm calculates the chances of a West Virginia motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 40.
South Dakota is second with a 1 in 68 chance of hitting a deer.
Craig says there may not be any way to prevent a collision with a deer, but if motorists slow down and stay alert it will help.
Steering away from deer is not always a good idea.
"It can lead to a more serious accident," he added. "Running off the road to avoid the deer is dangerous. If you hit a tree the tree won't move and the impact can cause serious injuries. At least the deer will move when you hit it."
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