Facts + Statistics: Deer vehicle collisions

During deer season, which generally runs from October through December, there is a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population. Many of these deer find their way onto highways and into suburban neighborhoods. As a result, more deer-vehicle collisions occur in this period than at any other time of year.  

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that there are more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in 150 occupant deaths, tens of thousands of injuries and over $1 billion in vehicle damage. In 2014, 166 deaths were the result of collisions with animals, according to the IIHS.

One out of 164 drivers will have a claim from hitting a deer, elk or moose in 2016, according to State Farm, about the same as a year earlier. Those odds more than double during October, November and December. Nationally the average cost per claim average is $3,995.08, down just slightly from $4,135 in 2014-2015.

These claims are most likely in West Virginia, where the odds of such an accident is 1 in 41, 5.4 percent more likely than in 2015, when the odds were 1 in 44. West Virginia has held the top spot for 10 years in a row. In Hawaii, the odds are 1 in 18,955, making that state the least likely for the tenth consecutive year.

 

Top Five States For Claims From A Collision With A Deer, Elk Or Moose, 2016

 

Rank State 2016 odds Percent change from 2015
1 West Virginia 1 in 41 5.4%
2 Montana 1 in 58 9.1
3 Pennsylvania 1 in 67 5.8
4 Iowa 1 in 68 -1.4
5 South Dakota 1 in 70 4.7

Source: State Farm®.

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Additional Resources

Colliding with deer is costly, especially for some vehicles. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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