How likely are you to have an animal collision?

What can you do to try to avoid hitting deer and other animals when driving on highways and roads?

As night begins to fall and visibility becomes more difficult, two deer leap onto the busy road. It's not an uncommon sight for many drivers, especially in October through December. New data shows U.S. drivers on the average have a 1 in 115 chance of a collision with an animal, according to the State Farm® annual analysis. The company estimates there were over 1.9 million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 (117, 200 less claims than in the previous 12-month period observed).

Where are animal collisions most likely?

West Virginia continues to top the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to hit an animal, with a likelihood of 1 in 35.

Montana (1 in 44 chance of a crash), South Dakota (1 in 51 chance), Michigan (1 in 51 chance of a crash) and Wisconsin (1 in 54) are at the top of the list. Rounding out the top 10 states where drivers are most likely to collide with an animal are Pennsylvania, Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wyoming. The months drivers are most likely to collide with a large animal in the U.S. are (in order) November, October and December.

Click on any state for more information or skip to table of States

High risk states

Medium risk states

Low risk states

Can you avoid deer (and other animals) in your headlights?

The growing deer and other animal populations, combined with the displacement of animal habitats, are making it more dangerous on the road, and making driver crashes more likely. The top 5 animal collisions reported by State Farm were: deer (1,378,542), unidentified animals (235,836), rodents (101,949), dogs (60,316) and racoons (56,096).

There may be no real way to keep animals off the road, but these important safety tips can help prevent animal strikes.

Tips to avoid animals on the road

  • Stay alert. Pay attention to "deer crossing" and "wildlife crossing" signs and be cautious in areas near woods or water.
  • Use high beams. Flicking your high beams on an animal in the road may cause the animal to scurry away. High beams also help illuminate dark roads.
  • Don't swerve. If a car crash is inevitable, maintain control of your vehicle and don't veer off the road.
  • Brake as necessary. If you can avoid hitting the animal, reduce your speed, honk your horn and tap your brakes to warn other drivers. If there are no drivers behind you, brake hard.
  • Remember peak season. Animal collisions happen most during October through December, which is hunting and mating season.
  • Remember meal time. Watch for animals in the road between dusk and dawn.
  • Watch for herds. If you see one deer, there are probably more nearby.
  • Don't use a whistle. No scientific evidence supports that car-mounted deer whistles work.
  • Wear seat belts. Always obey speed limits and wear seat belts.

Does car insurance cover animal damage?

Did you know that a deer collision or other animal damage may be covered by comprehensive coverage? Contact your State Farm agent to learn more about comprehensive coverage.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
State Farm Indemnity Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas
Richardson, TX

Start a Quote
Select a product to start a quote.
Agents Near You
Contact Us

Also Important

Immediate Steps to Take if You Hit a Deer

Even if you're vigilant, auto-deer collisions can happen. Learn what to do next.

Driving Distractions and How to Avoid Them

Texting is one of the most dangerous driving distractions, but here are 7 others.

Related Articles

What to Do After a Hit and Run

Hit and run accidents can be stressful. Know what to do — and what not to do — if you find yourself in this situation.

Advice for Teens on Dealing With an Accident

A car accident as a teen can be tricky. Let us walk you through several tips to prepare before an accident happens and what to do after one occurs.