Top Five States For Deer–Related Collisions Named

West Virginia Tops the List of States

For the sixth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to run into a deer. Using claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm® calculates the chances of a West Virginia motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months at 1 in 40.

In each of the top five states the rate of deer–related collisions per driver went up from a year ago:

  • South Dakota moved from third to second on the list (1 in 68).
  • Iowa (1 in 71.9) drops from second to third.
  • Michigan (1 in 72.4) is a close fourth jumping one position from fifth.
  • Pennsylvania (1 in 76) drops one spot to fifth.

The number of deer–related collisions in the U.S. has increased by 7.7 percent over the last year. This jump comes after a three year period during which these collisions dropped 2.2 percent.

State Farm estimates 1.23 million collisions caused by the presence of deer occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. The data also shows that November is the month during which deer–vehicle encounters are most likely, with more than 18 percent of all such mishaps taking place during that month.

Deer–vehicle collisions are three times more likely to occur on a day in November than they are on any day between Feb. 1 and Aug. 31. October is the second most likely month for a crash involving a deer and a vehicle. December is third.

The average property damage cost of these incidents during the final half of 2011 and the first half of 2012 was $3,305, up 4.4 percent from the year before.

Tips to Reduce the Odds of a Deer Collision

Here are tips from the Insurance Information Institute on how to reduce the odds of a deer-vehicle collision:

  • Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds — if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
  • Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.
  • Remember 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.
  • 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.
  • Don't rely on car–mounted deer whistles.