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 185 deaths from collisions with animals in 2019. These deaths occurred most often during July-September.

According to State Farm, U.S. drivers had 2.1 million animal collision insurance claims in the U.S. between July 2020 and June 2021, up 7.2 percent from the same period a year ago. These claims were most likely in West Virginia, with one in 37 drivers making an insurance claim based on this kind of accident. In Washington, DC the odds are one in 569, making it the lowest risk area for animal collisions, followed by Hawaii with a risk of one in 474. The large majority of animal collisions are with deer (67 percent in the latest period).

Top Five States For Claims From A Collision With An Animal, 2021 (1)


Rank State Number Rank State 2021 odds (2)
1 Pennsylvania 166,404 1 West Virginia  1 in 37
2 Michigan 132,387 2 Montana 1 in 39
3 Texas 131,973 3 South Dakota 1 in 48
4 California 104,767 4 Michigan 1 in 54
5 North Carolina 98,409 4 Pennsylvania 1 in 54

(1) Between July, 2020 and June, 2021.
(2) States with the same odds receive the same rank.

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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