On my way home from the Wyoming vs Nebraska game in Laramie, a driver in an SUV in front of me swerved suddenly to try and avoid hitting a deer.

The driver of the SUV slammed on the brakes and jerked the steering wheel to miss the animal, but instead the SUV skidded out of control and rolled over and down an embankment landing on its wheels in the median. Fortunately all three of the passengers in the SUV were OK, and no one was hurt.

With that accident still fresh on my mind, today a new report was released showing that deer related auto accidents are on the rise here in Wyoming.  In fact, Wyoming now ranks in the top 10 in deer - vehicle collisions by state.

Wyoming motorists experienced a 7 percent increase in deer related collisions, and now the chances of a driver striking a deer in Wyoming over the next year, rose to one in one hundred and eight.  That's according to the statistics found in a study conducted by State Farm and the Federal Highway Administration.

State Farm's research data showed that November, the heart of the deer migration and mating season, is the month during which deer versus vehicle encounters are most likely.  More than 18 percent of all such mishaps will take place in November, followed by October and then December.

That being said, this might be a good time for a quick reminder and a few driving tips to help avoid a collision with our Wyoming wildlife.

Here are a few tips on how to reduce the odds of a deer-vehicle collision:

· Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.

· Remember that deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.

· Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.

· Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.

· Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles.

· If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.