Making sure hitting a deer won’t be a hit to your wallet

YORK COUNTY, Pa - One in 67.

According to State Farm Insurance, that's your chances of hitting a deer while driving in Pennsylvania.

"We were on our way home from church on a Wednesday evening, just coming home like we typically do, then all of a sudden, out of no where, just a few minutes from home the deer just flew out right in front of the car," said Jessica Gresczyk of Dillsburg.

Gresczyk was one of the unlucky one, But that ride home from church wasn't her only recent encounter with deer in York County.

"Probably a good three or four times, and in this area there has been some closer calls than that."

Gresczyk isn't alone.

State Farm Insurance recently released a new study, showing Pennsylvania is the third worst state in the country when it comes to deer collisions.

Your chances of hitting the animal are higher than last year.

York State Farm Insurance Agent Barbara Buffington has one theory on why it might be more likely to hit a deer.

"Their habitat is being taken away by shopping centers and by housing developments."

Unfortunately, experts say there is not really way to stop those collisions, because even if you're the most cautious of drivers - the deer may not be paying attention.

Even the state farm agent has had her own run-ins on the road.

"All of a sudden there was no deer, then was a deer and I had no front end of my car. It happens that quickly that you just don't have time to react," said Buffington.

If your car and a deer collide, the damage can vary.

Although state farm says the average claim is between $3,000 - 4,000, but it all depends on your insurance.

Insurance agents say only comprehensive insurance will cover damage left by a deer.

Even though some people say "but the deer hit me!" - insurance companies won't see it that way.

Buffington says her coverage was worth it.

"My first claim was very minimal. I have a zero deductible, so I had nothing to pay there. But my 2nd claim was $12,000 in damage. All of that was covered."

As for Gresczyk, she hit a deer almost a year ago and still hasn't filed a claim.

"Since the damage wasn't too terribly bad, I figured I could go ahead and get that done when I had the time," said Gresczyk.

While deer are so unpredictable, it's hard to say what you can do to avoid hitting a deer, but state farm agents do have some suggestions: pay attention to your surroundings, especially at dusk and dawn when deer on are on the move, and know that October, November and December are the worst months for deer collisions.

"If it's a choice of hitting a car or hitting a deer, I know all the people who love Bambi want me to say oh you avoid the deer, no. You hit the deer."

Insurance agents say there is one bit of good news.

If you do hit a deer, your insurance won't go up.