We're inching ever closer to that time of year when Illinoisans start having more and more up close and personal meetings with our local deer population. Those encounters almost always go poorly for the deer, and often go badly for the driver, too. How likely are you to suffer deer-related damage to your vehicle here in Illinois?

According to State Farm Insurance's 2016 Deer Collision Report (which also includes crashes involving elk and moose), here in Illinois we have a 1 in 192 chance of plowing into a deer as we navigate our local roadways.

That doesn't even put Illinois in the top 5. According to the State Farm report, these are the five states with the greatest chances for a high-speed encounter with a member of Bambi's family:

1) West Virginia, 1 in 41

2) Montana, 1 in 58

3) Pennsylvania, 1 in 67

4) Iowa, 1 in 68

5) South Dakota, 1 in 70

Illinois has the best odds in the Midwest when you compare Wisconsin (1 in 77), Michigan (1 in 85), Indiana (1 in 136), Missouri (1 in 117), Kentucky (1 in 103), and the aforementioned Iowa (1 in 68).

Now that we know the odds, what about the times of year that are most dangerous?

The likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during the months of October, November and December, during deer mating season. Whether you hit a large animal or it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage. No matter where you live, it’s important to keep your eyes up and focus on the road, helping you take action in the event a large animal is suddenly in your path.

The national average cost per claim for 2015-2016 was $3,995.08, down just slightly from $4,135 in 2014-2015.

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