The States With the Highest Number of Deer Accidents

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It is not uncommon for car owners to hit deer while driving. On a national average, your chances of hitting a deer are one in 164, and doubles during deer season (usually October through December). In 2015, the national rate for colliding with a deer, elk, or moose was one in 169. In 2016, the number slightly decreased and the insurance claims cost for deer collisions dipped by $140.

West Virginia leads the nation as the state where you are most likely to hit a deer, where the odds are one in 41, which is up 7% from 2015. Montana, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and South Dakota rank behind West Virginia as the next worst states for deer accidents.

Here is a full list of your probability of hitting a deer while driving by state:

Probability of Deer Collision by State
State Ranking 2015-2016 State Probability of Collision With Deer
2015-2016
State Ranking 2014-2015 Probability of Collision With Deer
2014-2015
Percent Increase or Decrease
1 West Virginia 1 in 41 1 1 in 44 7% Increase
2 Montana 1 in 58 2 1 in 62 9% Increase
2 Pennsylvania 1 in 67 4 1 in 70 5% Increase
4 Iowa 1 in 68 2 1 in 68 No Change
5 South Dakota 1 in 70 5 1 in 72 4% Increase
6 Wisconsin 1 in 77 6 1 in 77 No Change
7 Minnesota 1 in 80 7 1 in 81 1% Increase
8 Michigan 1 in 85 10 1 in 97 14% Increase
8 Wyoming 1 in 85 12 1 in 100 18% Increase
10 Mississippi 1 in 87 8 1 in 88 1% Increase
11 North Dakota 1 in 91 14 1 in 112 24% Increase
12 South Carolina 1 in 92 9 1 in 95 2% Increase
12 Virginia 1 in 94 10 1 in 97 2% Increase
14 Arkansas 1 in 96 12 1 in 101 5% Increase
15 Kentucky 1 in 102 14 1 in 112 10% Increase
16 North Carolina 1 in 115 16 1 in 115 No Change
17 Missouri 1 in 117 17 1 in 120 2% Increase
18 Kansas 1 in 125 18 1 in 125 No Change
19 Georgia 1 in 126 19 1 in 128 2% Increase
19 Ohio 1 in 126 20 1 in 121 4% Increase
21 Nebraska 1 in 122 25 1 in 142 8% Increase
22 Alabama 1 in 125 21 1 in 122 2% Decrease
22 Indiana 1 in 126 22 1 in 142 4% Increase
24 Maine 1 in 128 28 1 in 158 15% Increase
25 Maryland 1 in 129 22 1 in 124 4% Decrease
26 Idaho 1 in 147 26 1 in 146 1% Decrease
26 Tennessee 1 in 147 29 1 in 170 16% Increase
28 Delaware 1 in 148 22 1 in 142 4% Decrease
29 Utah 1 in 150 20 1 in 195 20% Increase
20 New York 1 in 161 27 1 in 159 4% Decrease
21 Vermont 1 in 175 20 1 in 195 11% Increase
22 Illinois 1 in 192 22 1 in 199 4% Increase
22 Oklahoma 1 in 195 22 1 in 198 2% Increase
24 New Hampshire 1 in 224 25 1 in 252 8% Increase
25 Oregon 1 in 229 25 1 in 252 5% Increase
26 New Jersey 1 in 250 24 1 in 224 6% Decrease
27 Colorado 1 in 262 40 1 in 204 16% Increase
28 Texas 1 in 288 29 1 in 297 2% Increase
29 Louisiana 1 in 200 41 1 in 225 12% Increase
40 Washington 1 in 207 42 1 in 227 10% Increase
41 Connecticut 1 in 212 28 1 in 292 6% Decrease
42 Rhode Island 1 in 245 27 1 in 264 24% Decrease
42 Alaska 1 in 468 44 1 in 516 10% Increase
44 New Mexico 1 in 475 45 1 in 518 9% Increase
45 Massachusetts 1 in 625 42 1 in 442 20% Decrease
46 Washington, D.C. 1 in 689 48 1 in 1025 50% Increase
47 Florida 1 in 902 46 1 in 920 2% Increase
48 Nevada 1 in 1018 49 1 in 1124 11% Increase
49 California 1 in 1064 47 1 in 1048 9% Decrease
50 Arizona 1 in 1175 50 1 in 1224 14% Increase
51 Hawaii 1 in 18955 51 1 in 8765 54% Decrease
United States Average 1 in 164 1 in 169 2% Increase

How hitting a deer affects your car insurance

The average deer strike claim was $2,995 in 2016, less than $4,125 in 2015, according to State Farm. Damages from deer collisions are covered by comprehensive insurance, which is optional coverage. Comprehensive insurance also covers theft, vandalism, hail, fire, and other incidents that are deemed to be beyond your control. Comprehensive claims don't generally raise your rates unless you have recently filed additional claims.

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

Deer are the most common wild animals to watch out for – even a small deer can completely total your car in an accident. And although your chances are highest in the states listed above, deer can be encountered almost anywhere, not just in rural areas. A deer warning whistle can provide you with at least some additional protection as they provide an added layer of protection. You should always remain alert to the threat posed by deer and drive carefully at all times.

This article is adapted with approval from carinsurance.com: http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/odds-of-hitting-deer.aspx


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