State Farm: Collisions with Deer on the Rise

Likelihood of collisions with deer, by state.

Likelihood of collisions with deer, by state. (pic by statefarm.com)

Autumn always brings changes. As some parts of nature prepare to end their cycle of life and growth, other parts are in the midst of breeding for the future. And deer are now embarking on their annual breeding and migration seasons (start in October and runs through the end of December), meaning there are more of them on our roadways.

Using a combination of their own policy claims histories and data from the Federal Highway Administration, auto insurer State Farm says that for the fourth year in a row, West Virginia tops when it comes to your chances for colliding with a deer. We’ll have some tips for avoiding collisions with deer, but first, here’s a look at the top 10 states, and the chances a driver there has of hitting a deer this year.

Top 10 States for Deer Collisions

  1. West Virginia: 1 in 42 chance of a deer collision.
  2. Iowa: 1 in 67 chance.
  3. Michigan: 1 in 70 chance.
  4. South Dakota: 1 in 76 chance.
  5. Montana: 1 in 82 chance.
  6. Pennsylvania: 1 in 85 chance.
  7. North Dakota: 1 in 91 chance.
  8. Wisconsin: 1 in 96 chance.
  9. Arkansas: 1 in 99 chance.
  10. Minnesota: 1 in 100 chance.

Avoiding Deer-Vehicle Collisions

There’s no doubt that we’re encroaching on the natural environment of deer. And their population has undergone a bit of a growth explosion, with numbers increasing each year.

Thus, it’s important for drivers to remain viligent and on the lookout for deer. Take these steps to avoid a collision with a deer:

  • Deer crossing signs are there for a reason. They mark active deer crossing areas.
  • Deer will be most active between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
  • High beam headlights will illuminate areas where deer enter roadways.
  • If you see one deer, you should expect others. Deer travel in herds.
  • Whistles that mount onto your car have never been proven to effectively repel deer. Don’t rely on them.

Finally, we’ll remind you that your safety comes first. If a collision with a deer appears to be unavoidable, remember that radical swerves could cause you to lose control of your car. Even worse, it could put you into the path of an oncoming vehicle, resulting in a more serious head on collision.


About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at CarInsurance.org.


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