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Worst states for deer collisions


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, Iowa and Wisconsin rank, respectively, behind the Mountain State as the worst states for deer collisions.

The chances of hitting a deer while driving incrased a bit compared to last year, and the claims cost for deer collisions jumped by $184. The average deer strike car insurance claim is $4,179, compared to $3,995 for 2016, according to State Farm.

Odds of a deer collision are 1 out of 162, but that likelihood doubles during deer season, from October to December. Last year the national average for hitting a deer, elk or moose was 1 in 164. In West Virginia, the odds are 1 in 43,  down nearly three percent from 2016, State Farm says. Here is the likelihood of collision with a deer by state for 2017, according to State Farn:

StateRank2016 - likelihood of deer collision

% more or less likely

compared to last year

WEST VIRGINIA11 in 432.6% less
MONTANA21 in 57.8% more
PENNSYLVANIA31 in 635.2% more
IOWA41 in 691.3% less
WISCONSIN51 in 726% more
SOUTH DAKOTA61 in 734.6% less
MINNESOTA71 in 748.1% more
WYOMING81 in 796.6% more
MICHIGAN91 in 85.1% more
NORTH DAKOTA101 in 875.6$ more
VIRGINIA111 in 94.1% less
MISSISSIPPI121 in 958.3% less
SOUTH CAROLINA121 in 952.1% less
ARKANSAS141 in 971.2% less
KENTUCKY151 in 1003.5% more
NORTH CAROLINA161 in 1095.5% more
MISSOURI171 in 1124.4% more
GEORGIA181 in 1223.5% more
KANSAS191 in 1271.3% less
MAINE191 in 1279% more
MARYLAND191 in 1279.6% more
OHIO221 in 1281.6% less
ALABAMA231 in 1312.9% more
DELAWARE241 in 13212.5% more
NEBRASKA251 in 1341.5% less
TENNESSEE261 in 1432.8% more
INDIANA271 in 1456.3% less
VERMONT281 in 15016.5% more
IDAHO291 in 1512.9% less
NEW YORK301 in 161.3% less
OKLAHOMA311 in 194.4% more
ILLINOIS321 in 2046.1% less
UTAH331 in 22232.6% less
NEW JERSEY341 in 2299.4% more
NEW HAMPSHIRE351 in 2527.3% less
COLORADO361 in 2534% more
OREGON371 in 2545.8% less
TEXAS381 in 2697.1% more
RHODE ISLAND391 in 28023.6% more
CONNECTICUT401 in 3042.9% more
LOUISIANA411 in 3329.7% less
WASHINGTON421 in 35613.9% less
NEW MEXICO431 in 39719.6% more
ALASKA441 in 40715% more
MASSACHUSETTS451 in 5937.1% more
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA461 in 7133.3% less
FLORIDA471 in 8476.7% more
NEVADA481 in 9665.3% more
ARIZONA491 in 97320.8% more
CALIFORNIA501 in 1,1174.7% less
HAWAII511 in 6,823177.8% more

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 the Insurance Information Institute (III) the average annual rate for collision is $488, for comprehensive it’s $172. 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.