Drivers in West Virginia, Montana or Pennsylvania are all too familiar with deer crossing signs and know the danger that lurks beside or on roads and highways.
State Farm’s 15th annual deer claim study helps define that danger for drivers. It ranks states by the potential likelihood a driver has of hitting a large animal, like deer, elk, moose or caribou.
This year’s study has some good news for West Virginia drivers. WV continues to lead the nation in the likelihood of having an insurance claim involving a deer. However, the one out of every 43 drivers stat represents a 4.7 percent decrease from 2016.
Unfortunately, there were some increases in likelihood among the top 10 over last year’s study. Montana drivers have a one in 57 chance of a collision. This is a 1.8 percent increase. Pennsylvania drivers have a one in 63 chance of a crash, a 6.3 percent increase from 2016.
The top 10 states where a driver was most likely to have a large animal claim remain fairly consistent. Wisconsin moved into the top five, swapping positions with South Dakota. Wyoming moved into the top 10 at number eight. North Dakota moved up to number 10. South Carolina is no longer in the top 10. Thirteen states had no change in ranking.
Mating season more than doubles the likelihood of collision with a large animal, so be especially alert during the months of October, November, and December – deer mating season. Whether you hit a large animal, or it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage. No matter where you live, it’s important to remain alert. Keep your eyes up and focused on the road. This helps you take action in the event a deer is suddenly in your path.
Deer Season Driving Tips
- Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
- If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
- Always buckle up – every trip, every time.
- Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
- Brake if you can, but avoid swerving. This can result in a more severe crash.
- Remain focused on the road. Scan for hazards, including animals.
- Avoid distractions. Devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
- Do not rely on products such as deer whistles. They are not proven effective.
- If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear. Keep focus on the road ahead.
There is also an increased risk of collision with deer around dawn and dusk. Drivers should be engaged, alert and on the lookout at all times. You never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may cross your travel path.
More 2017 State Farm deer collision facts:
- The national claim cost per claim average from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 was $4,179 – up from $3,995 (2015-16).
- The months when most U.S. drivers had collisions with a deer, elk, moose or caribou were, in order:
Here are the odds on the likelihood of hitting a deer in the states the Car Pro Show airs:
- Pennsylvania-1 in 63
- Michigan-1 in 85
- North Carolina-1 in 109
- Ohio-1 in 128
- New York-1 in 161
- Texas-1 in 269
- Massachusetts-1 in 569
- Arizona-1 in 973
- California-1 in 1167