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Your Odds of Hitting a Deer Double

Your odds of hitting a deer, an elk or a moose are twice as high during the 4th quarter months of October, November and December as in the other nine months of the year.

U.S. drivers are just as likely to have a claim involving a collision with an animal as they were last year at 1 out of 169, according to new insurance industry claims data. This figure is the same as it was in 2014, but that likelihood doubles during October, November and December when these animal collisions are most prevalent.

For the ninth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where an auto insurance claim is most likely to occur, with an improvement of an 11.4 percent decrease. Hawaii rounds out the bottom of the list also for the ninth year in a row with odds of 1:8,765.

Here are the statistics for drivers filing a claim following a collision with a deer, elk or moose:

  • 1. West Virginia, 1:44, down from 1:39 in 2013
  • 2. Montana, 1:63 in 2014
  • 3. Iowa, 1:68 in 2014
  • 4. Pennsylvania, 1:70 in 2014
  • 5. South Dakota, 1:73 in 2014
  • 28. Idaho, 1:172 in 2013
  • 37. Oregon, 1:263 in 2013
  • 41. Washington, 1:372 in 2013

Notably, Idaho and Washington drivers have a significant risk of a collision with a deer in our rural and forested areas. According to 2014 statistics, Idaho drivers had 6,372 total crashes, and Washington drivers reported 14,043 crashes.

This data includes claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration and is based on comprehensive and collision claims only. Claims involving policyholders with liability insurance coverage only are not included in this information.


To take steps to reduce the likelihood of hitting an animal on area roadways:

  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams
  • Avoid swerving when you see a deer
  • Scan the road for deer and other danger signs
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles

Source: State Farm Study, News Release (Sept. 14, 2015)


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