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.  

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety from 1975 to the mid-2000s there was a general upward trend in deaths from collisions with animals.  However, this trend has leveled off in the past few years. Deaths from collisions with animals increased from 89 in 1975 to 223 in 2007 and then declined to 189 in 2016. In 2016, deaths in collisions with animals occurred most often during July-September.

One out of 167 drivers will have a claim from hitting a deer, elk, moose or caribou in 2018, according to State Farm, an improvement from the 2017 odds of one in 162. Those odds more than double during October, November and December, and there is an increased risk around dawn and dusk. State Farm estimates that animal collisions dropped slightly to 1.33 million between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, compared with 1.34 million in 2017.

These claims are most likely in West Virginia, where the odds of such an accident is 1 in 46, down three points from 2017. West Virginia has held the top spot for over a decade. In Hawaii, the odds are 1 in 6,379, making that state the least likely for more than a decade.

Top Five States For Claims From A Collision With A Deer, Elk, Moose Or Caribou, 2018


Rank State 2018 odds
1 West Virginia 1 in 46
2 Montana 1 in 57
3 Pennsylvania 1 in 63
4 Wisconsin 1 in 72
5 Iowa 1 in 73

Source: State Farm®.

View Archived Tables

Additional Resources

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

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