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. There were 190 deaths from collisions with animals in 2018. These deaths occurred most often during July-September.

According to State Farm, U.S. drivers on average have a 1 in 116 chance of a collision with an animal. There were over 1.9 million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. These claims were most likely in West Virginia, with one in 37 drivers making an insurance claim based on this kind of accident. In Hawaii, the odds are 1 in 649, making it the lowest risk state for animal collisions. The large majority of animal collisions are with deer. For the year July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 there were estimated to be 1.5 million deer claims industry-wide, according to State Farm.

Top Five States For Claims From A Collision With an Animal, 2020

 

Rank State 2020 odds (1)
1 West Virginia 1 in 37
2 Montana 1 in 47
3 Pennsylvania 1 in 51
4 South Dakota 1 in 53
5 Michigan 1 in 54

(1) Between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

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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