Bloomington, IL,
09:10 AM

Deer Drive Damage Costs Up!

State Farm® provides tips to protect yourself on the road.

Drivers in West Virginia, Montana or Pennsylvania are all too familiar with deer crossing signs. They know too the deer danger that lurks beside or on roads and highways.

The 15th annual State Farm deer claim study 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.

This year's study has some good news for West Virginia drivers. WV continues to lead the nation in the likelihood of having an insurance claim involving a deer. However, their one out of every 43 drivers stat represents a 4.7 percent decrease from 2016.

Unfortunately, there were some increases in likelyhood among the top 10 over last year's study. Montana drivers have a one in 57 chance of a collision. This is a 1.8 percent increase. Pennsylvania drivers have a one in 63 chance of a crash, a 6.3 percent increase from 2016.

The top 10 states where a driver was most likely to have a large animal claim remain fairly consistent. Wisconsin moved into the top five, swapping positions with South Dakota. Wyoming moved into the top 10 at number eight. North Dakota moved up to number 10.  South Carolina is no longer in the top 10. Thirteen states had no change in ranking.

Mating season more than doubles the likelihood of collision with a large animal. So be especially alert during the months of October, November and December - deer mating season. Whether you hit a large animal, or it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage. No matter where you live, it’s important to remain alert. Keep your eyes up and focused on the road.  This helps you take action in the event a deer is suddenly in your path. Some other tips to help keep drivers safe include:

  • Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
  • If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
  • Always buckle up - every trip, every time.
  • Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
  • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving. This can result in a more severe crash.
  • Remain focused on the road. Scan for hazards, including animals.
  • Avoid distractions. Devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
  • Do not rely on products such as deer whistles. They are not proven effective.
  • If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear. Keep focus on the road ahead.

There is also an increased risk of collision with deer around dawn and dusk. Drivers should be engaged, alert and on the lookout at all times. You never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may cross your travel path.


More 2017 State Farm deer collision facts:

  • The national claim cost per claim average from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 was $4,179 -  up from $3,995 (2015-16).
  • The months when most U.S. drivers had collisions with a deer, elk, moose or caribou were, in order:
    • November
    • October
    • December



State Farm is the nation’s leading auto insurer. Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, it calculated the chances of any single American motorist striking a deer, elk, or moose or caribou between July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 - in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data has been projected for the insurance industry as a whole, based on the State Farm personal vehicle market penetration within each state. The State Farm data is based on comprehensive and collision claims only. Claims involving policyholders with liability insurance coverage only are not included.



Mouse over the icons in the interactive image below for deer safety tips.

About State Farm®:

For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, lifehealth, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for rentersbusiness ownersboats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit

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