When I was old enough to leave home, I was also bestowed with another milestone: getting dropped from the family insurance. When you are in your late teens, you know everything but don’t understand a lot and this was true of me and car insurance. My late teens and early twenties involved a lot of moving: six-month leases were my jam. Something I found very interesting and perplexing was this: when I lived in a rural area my car insurance cost more than when I lived in an “urban” area. Now let me explain: Fargo is considered an “urban” area in North Dakota. It was bestowed this honor by being the most populated town in North Dakota. All y’all who are from actual cities can pick yourself up off the floor from you fit of laughter, we’ll move on.
When I lived in “small towns” in North Dakota(I’m talking no stop lights, a bar, a post office, maybe one school, and Main street has the right-of-way all the way through town with not so much as a yield sign), my car insurance would go up. When I lived in the “city” of Fargo, with actual populations of people…driving cars or pickups…everywhere( a lot of them being college kids, Go Bison/Dragons/Cobbers/etc), my insurance would go down.
My freshly-formed almost-adult brain couldn’t quite wrap around this idea, so I asked: “What the what???? Why does my insurance go up when the likelihood of me being in a fender-bender with another vehicle drops? Why wouldn’t my insurance cost more when I’m living among a larger vehicle-driving population? When I interact with dozens of cars on a daily basis, instead of a handful of cars, why does my insurance drop? What is going on???” The answer I received was: “You are more likely to hit a deer in a rural area.”
That’s right people. It wasn’t the uninsured rate-suckers, the color of my car, my driving record, or the hitch in my giddyup that was causing my insurance rate to fluctuate. My insurance premium was being driven by Bambi’s much tougher and heartier third cousin once removed: a NoDak whitetail deer.
If you are a NoDak driver, you not only have to be able to drive in 50 mph winds, rain storms, blizzards, heat, in subzero temps and be able to give the two finger wave(think peace sign but your fingers are glued together) when meeting a vehicle in any area with a population of less than 1000 people(that’s a lot of area), but you are also tasked with dodging suicidal woodland creatures.
Here’s the NoDak driving tip that my dad gave me when I started driving: if you see an animal in the road, hit it. Do not swerve. Stay in your lane, brake if you can, and hit it. You’ll do more damage trying to miss the animal(going into the ditch, hitting an approach, swerving into oncoming traffic, rolling, head-on collision, etc). In the grand scheme, committing varmint vehicular homicide is better outcome.
Now you may be wondering how often do these suicidal critters jump into the road? Is this some part of a NoDak critter gang-initiation?? Are we constantly bobbing and weaving to avoid Bambi’s seventh cousin??? Well…no. Between Hubby and myself, we have over 40 years of driving experience between the two of us(obviously he’s incredibly old and I got my license when I was born), as far as I can recollect, we only have one vehicular deer murder between us, and it wasn’t me. (I wonder if Hubby’s in pain from me throwing him under the bus so often?…Nah! He’s fine!)
So come! Visit North Dakota! Drive around! We deer you.