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 dusk falls and visibility becomes more difficult, two deer leap onto the busy road. It's not an uncommon sight for many drivers, especially in October, November and December. New data shows U.S. drivers on the average have a 1 in 109 chance of a collision with an animal, according to the State Farm® annual analysis. The company estimates there were over 2 million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 (almost 200,000 more 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 37.

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 57) 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

2021-2022 odds of
collision with animals
2021-2022 state ranking
Low risk Category header for Low Risk States
Medium risk Category header for Medium Risk States
High risk Category header for High Risk States

How 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 10 animal collisions reported by State Farm were: deer, unidentified animals, rodents, dogs, racoons, cattle, coyotes, turkey, cats and birds. And rounding out the list in last place are tortoises.

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.
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