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 164 deaths from collisions with animals in 2021 occurring most often during October-December.
According to data from State Farm, U.S. drivers had an estimated 1.8 million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 2022 and June 2023, down from 1.9 million from the same period a year ago. Pennsylvania had the highest estimated number of auto claims (153,397). However, drivers in West Virginia had the highest likelihood of hitting an animal. While the types of animals involved in collisions are diverse, deer are the top animal struck.