What Are The Odds That You’ll Hit A Deer?

January 3, 2009


Odds are, you or someone you know in North Escambia has hit a deer. If not, odds are you won’t have to wait long for that to change — maybe even on your next trip out to the store.

The number of deer-vehicle collisions in the United States continues to rise, up 14.9 percent from five years ago, according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The group says there are approximately 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions annually in the United States, causing more than 150 fatalities and $1.1 billion in property damage.

Earlier this week, Arty Kleinatland and his wife were returning from Atmore to their home off Highway 95A in Molino. About a mile north of Barrineau Park Road, the Kleinatlands another another crash to the deer-vehicle total. A 13-point, 162-pound buck collided with their Ford Expedition. On New Year’s Day, about 1:00 in the afternoon, a vehicle collided with another large buck on busy Highway 29 near Fran’s Diner in Molino. Those are just two of the many deer collisions that happen every year in North Escambia.

The number crunchers at State Farm Insurance have actually put odds on how likely it is for you to hit a deer. They say that 1 in 1,198 drivers in Florida will hit a deer this year. In Alabama, that number is 1 in 196. Florida’s odds are much lower due to the number of urban drivers in the big cities. Overall in the U.S., the odds say that 1 in 209 drivers will hit a deer this year. You are most likely, with the odds at 1 in 45 drivers, to hit a deer in West Virginia. The state in which deer-vehicle collisions are least likely is Hawaii at 1 in 10,962.

Here in North Escambia, our staff here at NorthEscambia.com tends to believe that the odds are much higher in our rural area. (Have you ever driven through Bay Springs or Enon on a winter night? It sometime seems like the odds are pretty good that you’ll hit more than one deer…per mile.)

State Farm says deer-vehicle collisions are more frequent during the deer migration and mating seasons in October, November and December. The combination of growing deer populations and the displacement of deer habitat caused by urban sprawl are producing increasingly hazardous conditions for motorists and deer, according to State Farm.

Pictured above:  Arty Kleinatland with the 162-pound, 13-point buck that collided with his Ford Expedition on Highway 95A in Molino earlier this week. Pictured below: The daytime deer collision on New Year’s Day near Fran’s in Molino. Submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com.



11 Responses to “What Are The Odds That You’ll Hit A Deer?”

  1. Greg Tomicich on September 28th, 2016 4:12 pm

    Would love for people who have hit a deer more than once to get in touch with me. I am defending a client who is accused of insurance fraud largely because he turned in a second insurance claim for hitting the second deer. Apparently, the insurance company thinks that’s highly unlikely.

  2. Teresa B. on January 9th, 2014 10:21 pm

    I live in rural Winston County Alabama, and I have hit 3 deer in less than 3 years, all in the same 5 mile stretch of Highway 5! I have even been featured in a story in our local newspaper. I wonder if I have defied some sort of odds, with these being so close together in time AND location? I HATE deer!!!! I wish there were MORE deer hunters, and that they would get off their butts and KILL DEER!!!!!!!!! I can’t afford to keep replacing car hoods!

  3. E.M. Duncan on January 6th, 2009 10:59 pm

    I thought the Molino Tornado was top news. The photos were good too. I will never forget that day.

  4. E.M. Duncan on January 6th, 2009 7:56 pm

    I hit two deer one night when I had just turned off Hwy. 196, onto Hwy. 99. I was not up to speed, and was only doing about 40mph. They ran out onto the road, just past the bridge, from my right. One was killed, and the other I did not see. My fog light was smashed, and there was blood and deer hair stuck on the right side of my truck.

    In light of the above, my last encounter with a deer in the road, was quite amazing. I had spent Thanksgiving evening with friends and family in Frisco City, Alabama, and was driving home alone. I was on 97A nearing my home about 1:00AM Friday morning, on an isolated and very dark stretch of highway. I was looking to my left and to my right for any sign of a deer or any other creature. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw the biggest deer I have ever seen on the road. He was dead center in front of me, and I was going about 50 or 55 mph. I had no time to react, but just screamed, “JESUS!!!” and close my eyes. There was a soft thump and one bump. I opened my eyes. I was still alive, and the truck was still running ok. I did not stop because of the evironment and not having a good light. Where was the second bump? When home, I got a flashlight, and tried to see what damage had been done, but could find none. When daylight came and I awoke, I went out and throughly examined my truck. I could find absolutely no trace of hair, blood, dents or scratches anywhere. I drove back all the way to Arthur Brown road and saw no trace of a deer dead or alive. I knew, and still know, that there is no way this was a natural occurance. And, no…….I do not drink, nor was I high on anything. God has said that it shall come to pass that before you call, I will answer. That was very close to becoming a reality in my life that dark morning.

    Now, I pray for others, and myself when driving, “Lord, please do not let me hurt anyone or anything, and please do not let anyone or anything hurt me.” He has answered that prayer every time since, except for the one time I forgot to pray. I asked if He wanted me to pray every time. In my spirit, I heard Him say, “You have not, because you ask not.” It has been many months since, and He has kept me safe, and is answering for every need I have asked Him for. What a boost of faith and learning has developed since that amazing night.

  5. HARVEY on January 5th, 2009 10:36 am

    I hunt Darrell Kite’s food plot all the time when he’s working, I never saw anything like that show up!!! LOL!!!

  6. Jimmie on January 5th, 2009 7:36 am

    Darrel Kite said thanks for killing the buck that was headed to his food plot.

  7. Gloria on January 4th, 2009 10:05 am

    Looks familar! Two weeks ago deer #8 hit me! My 3rd for my 2006 Highlander. There is nothing orginal on my right side.Most of my friends laugh at me and think it’s my driving…I live in Walnut Hill and drive 30 miles to work early in the morning so I am always watching. But there is not a choice when they are running or decide to jump. I’ve considered myself very lucky that I have never been hurt. Thanks William for doing a story on this.

  8. Redhead on January 3rd, 2009 8:20 pm

    I was a personal witness to this particular deer accident. As a matter of fact I was in my room that night listenting to television when I here the loud kabam. I took off from my house and ran down the street. There we were no flashlights at all when debris on the road. I would like to thank all the concerned citizens who drove by us as we stood there waiting Mr. Kleinatlands friends to appear on the scene. What a joke no one stopped at all. I went across to the neighbor who brought out a flashlight where we could then see. Oh and by the way people just kept running over the truck debris in the road. Some people.

  9. Danny on January 3rd, 2009 8:51 am

    My wife can relate as well. On December 15th she hit a deer on Highway 95A North just north of Quintette Road. The damage to her SUV looks very similar to the pictures of the Kleinatland’s Expedition.

  10. Delane Garrett on January 3rd, 2009 7:17 am

    Anyone who drives Hwy. 97 at night, knows how likely you are to hit a deer. With all the people driving to WindCreek now, I’m sure NorthEscambia will be busier than ever reporting on this. There are certain places along 97,if you just look out in the edges of the fields, the deer are there. It would be a good idea to have “deer crossing” signs all along this stretch of road. We are all aware of the number of fatal wrecks that happen on this road. However, the last few times we have gone this way to P’cola the Highway Patrol has been out and about, some in unusual vehicles.

  11. melanie on January 3rd, 2009 1:05 am

    i can relate to this story cause i have accidently had this happen to me not once but twice and both time’s there was damage to my vehicles…i live here in molino and continue to dread driving down the dark roads of hwy29 and hwy97 mostly at night…and especially when its very foggy…there is a thing sold at stores to prevent deer from runing out in front of you though..they are called “deer warning lights”i have them and they have been successful in preventing deer to run in front of you..i haven’t fortunatly hit one since i been using it..i would suggest to anyone to get them.i know arty too and i’m sorry this happened to you guys,fortuntely nothing serious happend.

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