As fog cleared off the river, two deer bounded into the tall grass near the road. It’s not an uncommon sight for many drivers, especially in November, October and December. New data shows a decline in deer-vehicle collisions, however, the average cost of property damage increased.
For the third consecutive year, the number of deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. has dropped, according to the State Farm® 15th annual State Farm deer claim study. The company estimates that 1.35 million auto-deer collisions occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. These crashes were costly for drivers, with a national cost per claim average of $4,179.
Where are Deer-Vehicle Collisions Most Likely?
West Virginia continues to top the list of states where an individual driver is most likely to run into a deer. Though one out of every 43 WV drivers are likely to collide with a deer, that’s a 4.7 percent decrease from 2016, according to the State Farm study.
Iowa, Montana, and Pennsylvania also remain at the top of list. Rounding out the top 10 states where drivers are most likely to collide with large animals like deer, elk, moose or caribou are Wisconsin, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Michigan and North Dakota.
Montana drivers have a one in 57 chance of a collision with a deer, an increase of 1.8 percent. Pennsylvania drivers have a one in 63 chance of a crash, a 6.3 percent increase over 2016. For the eleventh year in a row, a driver in Hawaii is least likely to collide with a large animal, with a one in 6,823 chance.