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Worst states for deer collisions


For the twelfth consecutive year, West Virginia leads the nation as the state where you are most likely to hit a deer, according to a claims analysis by State Farm. Montana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa rank, respectively, behind the Mountain State as the worst states for deer collisions.

The chances of hitting a deer while driving decreased a tad compared to last year, but claims cost for deer collisions still increased by $162. The average deer strike car insurance claim is $4,341, compared to $4,179 for 2017, according to State Farm.

Odds of a deer collision are 1 out of 167, but that likelihood doubles during deer season, from October to December. Last year the national average for hitting a deer, elk, caribou or moose was 1 in 162. In West Virginia, the odds are 1 in 46,  down nearly 7.5 percent from last year, State Farm says. Here is the likelihood of collision with a deer by state (data gathered from July 2017 - June 2018), according to State Farm:

State2017-18 Likelihood Of Collision With Deer2017-18 State Ranking2016-17 Likelihood Of Collision With Deer2016-17 State RankingPercentage Change In Likelihood
West Virginia1 In 4611 In 4317.5% Decrease
Montana1 In 5721 In 5721.3% Increase
Pennsylvania1 In 6331 In 6330.2% Decrease
Wisconsin1 In 7241 In 7250.6% Increase
Iowa1 In 7351 In 6945.3% Decrease
South Dakota1 In 7561 In 7362.7% Decrease
Minnesota1 In 7771 In 7474.8% Decrease
Michigan1 In 8081 In 8595.8% Increase
Wyoming1 In 8891 In 7989.4% Decrease
Mississippi1 In 91101 In 95124.1% Increase
South Carolina1 In 98111 In 95123.3% Decrease
Virginia1 In 99121 In 94114.7% Decrease
North Dakota1 In 103131 In 871051.9% Decrease
Arkansas1 In 106141 In 97148.9% Decrease
Kentucky1 In 107151 In 100157.1% Decrease
Missouri1 In 110161 In 112171.6% Increase
North Carolina1 In 113171 In 109163.6% Decrease
Kansas1 In 130181 In 127192.5% Decrease
Georgia1 In 131191 In 122187.1% Decrease
Ohio1 In 134201 In 128224.7% Decrease
Maine1 In 135211 In 127195.7% Decrease
Alabama1 In 136221 In 131233.8% Decrease
Maryland1 In 138231 In 127197.8% Decrease
Delaware1 In 139241 In 132245.1% Decrease
Indiana1 In 147251 In 145271.3% Decrease
Nebraska1 In 149261 In 1342510.5% Decrease
Idaho1 In 164271 In 151298.0% Decrease
New York1 In 165281 In 161302.4% Decrease
Oklahoma1 In 165281 In 1943117.7% Increase
Tennessee1 In 173301 In 1432617.2% Decrease
Vermont1 In 173301 In 1502813.0% Decrease
Illinois1 In 200321 In 204322.3% Increase
New Jersey1 In 232331 In 229341.6% Decrease
Utah1 In 239341 In 222336.9% Decrease
New Hampshire1 In 242351 In 252354.1% Increase
Oregon1 In 256361 In 254371.1% Decrease
Connecticut1 In 263371 In 3044015.7% Increase
Texas1 In 266381 In 269381.2% Increase
Colorado1 In 277391 In 253368.9% Decrease
Louisiana1 In 315401 In 332415.7% Increase
Washington1 In 395411 In 356429.8% Decrease
Alaska1 In 396421 In 407442.7% Increase
New Mexico1 In 453431 In 3974312.4% Decrease
Massachusetts1 In 469441 In 5934526.5% Increase
Rhode Island1 In 538451 In 2803948.0% Decrease
Florida1 In 831461 In 847471.9% Increase
District Of Columbia1 In 883471 In 7134619.2% Decrease
Arizona1 In 1,073481 In 973499.3% Decrease
Nevada1 In 1,088491 In 9664811.2% Decrease
California1 In 1,125501 In 1,117500.7% Decrease
Hawaii1 In 6,379511 In 6,823517.0% Increase

Drivers in deer-dense states should carry comprehensive insurance

Damage from deer collisions is covered by comprehensive insurance, which is optional coverage. It also covers theft, vandalism, hail, fire and other incidents largely beyond your control. Comprehensive claims don't generally raise your rates unless you have recently filed additional claims, says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for CarInsurance.com. However, it will only pay out up to the actual cash value of your car, and you will have to pay the deductible, so be sure claim amount is higher than your deductible.

If you swerve to miss a deer and are successful but crash, say you hit a tree or guardrail, that damage is covered by collision insurance, says Gusner. If your vehicle doesn't make contact with the animal the damage is considered a collision claim because you hit another car or object (or rolled your vehicle).

Comprehensive and collision coverage typically won’t bust your budget, as the average cost is fairly affordable. According to a CarInsurance.com rate analysis, the average rate for collision coverage is $526 per year, for a full coverage policy with a $500 deductible. For comprehensive the national average rate is $192. Even if you have an old car, if you drive in areas with a high deer population (or elk, moose or other large animals that may cross roads), it's wise not to drop comprehensive and collision coverages.

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8 Responses to "Worst states for deer collisions"
  1. John Galt

    I suggest drivers get UV lights for their car.s. Deer see it like because it blazes orange to them.

  2. lgrant

    Have any states developed solutions that have reduced the number of deer-car accidents on their roads?

  3. Fred

    Could parks and wildlife get the deer to go where I hunt? Ha!

  4. Steve

    Just looking at the stats. it appears that Southern states that allow dog/deer hunting have a higher risk of car/deer collisions. Is that true?

  5. Donnie Burnett

    While driving with headlights on high beams is okay, it is also one of the primary reason there are deer-car collisions. High beams, like spotlights, tend to blind deer when deer are blinded, they freeze. When the driver switches to low beam, or the road has a curve, or grade change, the dear is no longer 'blind' and tends to bolt. The vast majority of the time, it will bolt in the direction it is facing which is right into the roadway. Conduct a study and you will find that most drivers will go from high beam to low beam, or swerve slightly when they see a deer on the side of the road.

  6. Dave

    Considering the number of casualties shown in the table, it is a wonder that the stupid deer have not learned to avoid traffic. Quite a few years ago, in upstate NY, on a rainy night, I hit a deer. Luckily, the damage was only $3,400. I don't know if the deer survived; it disappeared.

  7. Melody

    I have hit two deer since 2007. One with a Prius in '07 had 5,000 miles on it and damage cost $3,200. Then another one with my 2008 tundra in 2009, damage minimal to truck. Deer damage --well that's a different story, it died.

  8. KingofThings

    If the deer would pay attention to those signs they would be better off.


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