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Report: Half of Total U.S. Deer-Automobile Collisions Occurred in 10 States

Deer danger

Recently on Outdoor Hub we published a report from State Farm Insurance listing the top 10 states where you are most likely to hit a deer while driving. To refresh your memory, the list was as follows:

  1. West Virginia – a one in 39.9 chance
  2. South Dakota – one in 68
  3. Iowa – one in 71.9
  4. Michigan – one in 72.4
  5. Pennsylvania – one in 75.6
  6. Montana – one in 77.7
  7. Wisconsin – one in 78.7
  8. Minnesota – one in 79.7
  9. Arkansas – one in 102.5
  10. Virginia – one in 103.2

Now take a look at State Farm’s Likelihood of Collision with Deer (2011-2012) chart, which lists the projected number of deer-vehicle collisions and paints a slightly different picture. Below are the top 10 states by deer-vehicle collions:

  1. Pennsylvania – 115,571
  2. Michigan – 97,856
  3. New York – 80,262
  4. Ohio – 67,699
  5. Wisconsin – 52,525
  6. Virginia – 52,369
  7. Illinois – 51,627
  8. North Carolina – 48,362
  9. Texas – 45,418
  10. Georgia – 42,996
Notice that Pennsylvania had almost four times as many projected collisions than West Virginia, yet it only made the number five spot on the first list. That’s because the list factored in the number of licensed drivers at that time (statistics were gathered between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012).
That means that more deer were hit in Pennsylvania than any other state by 17,715 deer. There were about three times as many deer killed in that state by hunters than the amount hit by a motor vehicle. To compare, Pennsylvania’s Game Commission reported that hunters harvested 336,200 deer in the 2011-2012 season, an increase of six percent from the previous year.

In the entire United States, more than one million deer were hit in the year surveyed by State Farm. There were a total 1,231,710 deer hit nationwide by a vehicle, a 7.7 percent increase from the same time period the year before. In the two states listed above, a total of 654,685 deer were hit. That means 53 percent of the total number of deer hit in the United States were hit in just 10 states.

Deer collisions occur annually, although they peak in October and November during the rut. They then don’t slow down until mid-December. Motorists are advised to slow down after sundown and before sunrise to reduce their risk of colliding with a deer.

Image from Peter Vanderheyden (2sirius) on the flickr Creative Commons

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