Insurance Company Issues Report on Deer-Vehicle Collisions in West Virginia

Erie Insurance issued a report a few days ago on the PRNewswire detailing the rise in deer-vehicle collisions in West Virginia. Generally, across the country deer-vehicle collisions cause more than 200 deaths, tens of thousands of injuries, and up to 1.1 billion in property damages. But across the country, deer insurance claims have declined over the past 10 years. But the report notes that deer insurance claims frequency is highest in West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In West Virginia, deer collisions have been on the rise for the last two years. Erie notes that in 2007, claims increased 11 percent. Apparently, in Wirt, Pleasants, Calhoun and Pocahontas Counties, drivers are three times more likely to hit a deer than in other parts of West Virginia.

Erie offers 10 tips for “bucking” the deer-vehicle collision trend:

1. Stay alert, awake and sober.
2. Always wear your seatbelt and drive at a safe, sensible speed for
conditions.
3. Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors
to deter deer.
4. Deliberately watch for deer — including the reflection of deer eyes and
deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road — particularly when driving
late at night or early in the morning.
5. Use high-beam headlights at night when there is no opposing traffic.
6. If you encounter a deer, assume nothing, slow down and blow your horn to
urge the deer to leave the road.
7. If you see a deer in or near your path, brake firmly but stay in your
lane.
8. Never swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer — if a collision is
imminent, hit it while maintaining full control of your vehicle.
9. If you do strike a deer, and are uncertain whether or not the deer is
dead, keep your distance.
10. If the deer is blocking the roadway, contact the Game Commission or a
local law enforcement agency.

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney

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7 responses to “Insurance Company Issues Report on Deer-Vehicle Collisions in West Virginia

  1. The reason DVA’s are so high is because of hunting and if you would read my blogger you find out why hunting has alot to do with deer vehicle accidents. DNR and most hunters do know that mass killing does not work and in fact can worsen deer population plus hunters in the woods do spook the deer out. Some tree stand can be as close as 200 yards from the roads and I have seen video of not only arrow hit deer run but other deer running as well. Hunters do nothing but destroy everything animals and human lives.

  2. I have a suggestion. I suggest those who have been involved in DVA and that state have hunting do some further research like why are the state agencies providing deer for hunters or why are the DNR rejecting deer birth control when its been proven that it works, its safe and cost is decent.? DNR and hunters continue to drown out deer birth control and yap about the “need” for hunters no matter how much fact is in their face that hunting for deer “management” is a sham. Then they love to talk about how much money hunters put in the economy and I think its beginning to sound like fish story because they are so desperate knowing all the fact about their BS is coming to light so they use the “helping business” or “help economy”. I see it all the time in DNR /Game and Fisheries/ websites. Keep the fishing if they want but they should STOP killing deer because they going to continue killing humans. Deer killing is a propaganda to suit the needs of the hunting commuities and nothing for the public.
    So make the long story longer (LOL) I say to research more about the hunting industry and how come there are so many deer year after year it does begin to sound a bit odd doesn’t it? Human lives lost from DVA could have been prevented if not for so many deer provided for hunters and if not for the hunters in the forest spooking the animals. Hunters are also allowed in the woods to kill one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset. I bet those hunters are getting some killing before work and after work.

    DVA SHOULD BE MURDER 1 TO DNR AND STATE WILDLIFE AGENCIES.

  3. Caroline Tierra Cinnamon, your knowledge of hunting law and practice is very flawed and inaccurate. Your knowledge of hunting law and practice in the state of West Virginia is nonexistant, because of the simple fact you DO NOT LIVE HERE! I do. So please, before you go spouting off your anti-hunting propaganda nonsense, please be aware noone in this state cares about your lies. Save them for the people of New York, I believe that is your home state, and a damn good place for you!

  4. Fact: There is a LARGE abundance of state parks in West Virginia. These state parks are prohibited to hunt, providing perfect places for the deer population to multiply with little danger of predation. Fact: As the human population spreads in West Virginia, new suburbs spring up and provide perfect places for deer to multiply with no threat of hunting or predation. Last check on the DNR website, they are trying to get suburban bow hunting approved in many cities in WV. Fact: Not all farms are open to hunting, the number of acreage in West Virginia is unknown, but these also provide perfect places for deer to multiply with no danger of hunting or predation. Add all of these factors with the vast West Virginia highway system that winds through unheard of acres of meadows, woodlands and deer habbitat and guess what you get? The real truth, a very high rate of DVA’S. Hunting is not the problem, but more hunting is and will be the solution. This does not set well with your cause, or the Animal Rights Activists, so they see the need to use whatever tactics they can to save the already protected deer that are indeed the problem to begin with.

  5. Yes VA is producing deer

    “Historically in all states, including West Virginia,
    hunting regulations have been restrictive during the
    period of deer restoration with mainly short buck-only
    seasons to protect does and encourage deer
    population growth. As deer become more abundant,
    more liberal hunting regulations including antlerless
    harvests are required to limit population growth.”

    http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/wildlife/deer806.pdf

    or lets say “restocking” for next seasons killing. That is why DVA’s are always high year after year. Why do you need to raise the deer number if its low?

    GUIDELINES FOR APPLICATION
    Provided that adequate hunting pressure is applied
    to an area, the following harvest ratios can be used as a
    rule of thumb for achieving population regulation
    goals through hunting. For every 10 antlered bucks
    harvested, if the goal is for the population to:
    1) increase rapidly then harvest no antlerless deer;
    2) increase slowly then harvest 5 antlerless deer;
    3) stabilize at current level then harvest 10 antlerless
    deer;
    4) decrease slowly then harvest 12 antlerless deer;
    5) decrease rapidly then harvest 15 antlerless deer.

    So I ask again if its about “reduction” then why would make any reference to “rapidly producing” deer? Perhaps they need the deer for killing (restock) year after year?

  6. we’ve had people call us in Virginia wanting to know if they have any claim if they get in a wreck because of a car accident. Generally, the answer is no. However, a passenger may have a claim against a driver if the wreck was caused in part by the driver’s carelessness. Wonder if you get the same inquiries in West Virginia?

    • We have had plenty of inquires about people who themselves wrecked and want to sue their own insurance, which of course they can’t. Although, one could claim that they swerved to miss a reckless car (rather than a deer), wrecked, and the other car was never to be seen again, and potentially make a claim on their uninsured policy. Of course, if untrue this is insurance fraud. Thus, this is always a suspicious claim to adjustors.

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