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 63 9% Increase
3 Pennsylvania 1 in 67 4 1 in 70 5% Increase
4 Iowa 1 in 68 3 1 in 68 No Change
5 South Dakota 1 in 70 5 1 in 73 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 113 24% Increase
12 South Carolina 1 in 93 9 1 in 95 2% Increase
13 Virginia 1 in 94 10 1 in 97 3% Increase
14 Arkansas 1 in 96 13 1 in 101 5% Increase
15 Kentucky 1 in 103 14 1 in 113 10% Increase
16 North Carolina 1 in 115 16 1 in 115 No Change
17 Missouri 1 in 117 17 1 in 120 3% 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 131 4% Increase
21 Nebraska 1 in 132 25 1 in 143 8% Increase
22 Alabama 1 in 135 21 1 in 133 2% Decrease
23 Indiana 1 in 136 23 1 in 142 4% Increase
24 Maine 1 in 138 28 1 in 158 15% Increase
25 Maryland 1 in 139 22 1 in 134 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 23 1 in 142 4% Decrease
29 Utah 1 in 150 30 1 in 195 30% Increase
30 New York 1 in 161 27 1 in 159 4% Decrease
31 Vermont 1 in 175 30 1 in 195 11% Increase
32 Illinois 1 in 192 33 1 in 199 4% Increase
33 Oklahoma 1 in 195 32 1 in 198 2% Increase
34 New Hampshire 1 in 234 35 1 in 252 8% Increase
35 Oregon 1 in 239 35 1 in 252 5% Increase
36 New Jersey 1 in 250 34 1 in 234 6% Decrease
37 Colorado 1 in 263 40 1 in 304 16% Increase
38 Texas 1 in 288 39 1 in 297 3% Increase
39 Louisiana 1 in 300 41 1 in 335 12% Increase
40 Washington 1 in 307 42 1 in 337 10% Increase
41 Connecticut 1 in 313 38 1 in 293 6% Decrease
42 Rhode Island 1 in 345 37 1 in 264 24% Decrease
43 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 635 43 1 in 443 30% Decrease
46 Washington, D.C. 1 in 689 48 1 in 1035 50% Increase
47 Florida 1 in 903 46 1 in 930 3% Increase
48 Nevada 1 in 1018 49 1 in 1134 11% Increase
49 California 1 in 1064 47 1 in 1048 9% Decrease
50 Arizona 1 in 1175 50 1 in 1334 14% Increase
51 Hawaii 1 in 18955 51 1 in 8765 54% Decrease
United States Average 1 in 164 1 in 169 3% Increase

How hitting a deer affects your car insurance

The average deer strike claim was $3,995 in 2016, less than $4,135 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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