Midwest High on List of States with Most Animal-Vehicle Collisions

October 16, 2017

Motorists are more likely to crash into a deer in five Midwest states than in most other states, according to State Farm’s annual ranking of states in terms of the likelihood of deer-vehicle collisions.

The insurer uses claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration in compiling its state-centric information on animal-vehicle crashes.

Midwest states represent five of the top 10 states for deer-vehicle collisions in State Farm’s list for 2016 – 2017.

West Virginia tops the list for the 11th year in a row. Montana, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Wisconsin came in second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the ranking of states where deer-vehicle collisions are most likely to occur. South Dakota ranks sixth in the nation and North Dakota is 10th. Other Midwest states in the top 10 are Minnesota (7) and Michigan (9). Wyoming rounds out the top 10 list at number eight.

The top 10 states where a driver is most likely to have a large animal claim remain fairly consistent year-to-year, the insurer reports. Of the top 10 states this year, Wisconsin swapped positions with South Dakota; both Wyoming and North Dakota moved into the top 10, while South Carolina is no longer included in that list. Thirteen states had no change in ranking.

With the annual State Farm deer claim study, the insurer 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.

According to State Farm, the national claim cost per claim average from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, for vehicle-animal collisions was $4,179 — up from $3,995 in 2015-16.

The months when most U.S. drivers have collisions with a deer, elk, moose or caribou are, in order, November, October and December.

Most such crashes happen around dawn and dusk, when deer are most often moving around.