Deer are everywhere nowadays.
With over 30 million deer nationwide, they’re nearly impossible to avoid.
Unfortunately, these adorable animals can damage the environment and your car.
Deer auto collisions are unfortunately quite common and can cause severe injuries and property damage.
Access to the latest information about deer-vehicle collisions can help you avoid colliding with these large animals on highways or country roads.
Use this compilation of exciting deer-vehicle collision statistics to learn everything you need to know about the situation.
Top 10 Deer-Vehicle Collision Statistics
The top deer-vehicle collision statistics are as follows.
- 67% of vehicle collisions with animals involve deer (The Insurance Information Institute)
- There were 1.33 million collisions with deer between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018 (State Farm Data)
- There are roughly 1.5 million auto collisions with deer in the United States every year. (World Animal Foundation)
- There are roughly 10,000 injuries a year related to deer-auto collisions (Utah State Government)
- Deer are responsible for the deaths of 440 out of 458 Americans killed in physical confrontations with animals (The Washington Post)
- Your chances of hitting a deer are 1 in 115 (State Farm)
- The states with the highest likelihood of hitting a deer are West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania (The Insurance Information Institute)
- The autumn season is when the most vehicle collisions with deer take place (The Conversation)
- Deer collisions are 14 times more likely to happen after dark (Current Biology)
- Year-round daylight saving would reduce crashes, saving ~$1.2 billion annually (Current Biology)
Interesting Deer-Vehicle Collision Statistics
The following deer-vehicle collision statistics demonstrate just how common this type of automotive accident can be. Consider the following.
1. 67% of vehicle collisions with animals involve deer (The Insurance Information Institute)
While there are many different types of animal collisions, deer are by far the most likely to provoke accidents. With so many deer across the United States, the likelihood of a crash is relatively high. Most deer collisions also happen after dark.
2. There were 1.33 million auto collisions with deer between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018 (State Farm Data)
Although deer collisions were particularly low during this period, they have gone up to roughly 1.5 million crashes a year. During the Covid-19 pandemic, fewer people were on the road, leading to fewer deer collisions.
3. There are roughly 1.5 million auto collisions with deer annually in the United States. (World Animal Foundation)
Since the Covid-19 pandemic has leveled out and social distancing restrictions have loosened across the United States, the number of deer collisions has shot up to nearly 1.5 million. Deer collisions were highest from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s.
4. There are roughly 10,000 injuries a year related to deer-auto collisions (Utah State Government)
The Utah State government suggests between 175 and 200 deaths involving deer collisions in the United States each year. The number of injuries, however, is much higher, peaking at 10,000 injuries per year.
5. In 2022, deer were responsible for the deaths of 440 out of 458 Americans killed in physical confrontations with animals (Michael Conover, Utah State University)
Although animal interactions are pretty every day in the United States, some result in fatalities. Deer-human interactions occur mainly as a result of automobile accidents. While deer are relatively docile, they can weigh up to 160 pounds and cause severe damage to your car.
6. Your chances of hitting a deer are 1 in 115 (State Farm)
According to the State Farm annual report, U.S. drivers are more likely to hit a deer than most other animals. The average rate of collisions is 1 in 115.
7. The states with the highest likelihood of hitting a deer are West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania (The Insurance Information Institute)
In West Virginia, the odds of hitting a deer are 1 in 25. In Montana, the odds are 1 in 44. In South Dakota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the odds are 1 in 51, and in Pennsylvania, the odds are 1 in 57.
8. The autumn season is when the most vehicle collisions with deer take place (The Conversation)
Deer collisions are highest in November; the deer seasons peak from November 7th through the 14th. The statistics remain high from September through December. Though the statistics differ for mule deer and white-tailed deer, both rise during the fall season.
9. Deer collisions are 14 times more likely to happen after dark (Current Biology)
Deer are far more likely to emerge after dark, and drivers are less able to see them. For this reason, deer collisions are far more likely to occur after dark—particularly around daylight savings time when human habits change and deer fail to acclimate.
10. Year-round daylight saving would reduce collisions, saving ~$1.2 billion annually (Current Biology)
Deer collisions are most likely to occur when it’s dark and during the fall. During this time, daylight savings causes a change in human behavior, which in turn confuses deer. Researchers estimate that year-round daylight savings would save over $1.2 billion annually.
11. Of all the different types of collisions, deer collisions are the most deadly (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
Collisions with animals caused 66% of total deaths due to crashes. In comparison, rollover accidents caused 13% of fatalities, clashes with a fixed object generated 7% of fatalities, and collisions with a vehicle in transport developed 8% of deaths.
12. Between 2021 and 2022, there were 1.9 million insurance claims filed due to accidents involving deer (State Farm)
According to State Farm’s annual report, more insurance claims were filed during this period than during the Covid-19 pandemic. Researchers estimate this is because more drivers returned to work after authorities loosened social distancing restrictions.
13. From 1975 to the mid-2000s, deer collisions were at their highest in recorded history (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
According to the Insurance Institute for highway safety, the period between 1975 and 2006 experienced the highest number of deer collisions. Although they decreased during the pandemic, they have returned to average levels.
14. The states least likely to witness deer collisions are Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Delaware (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
In Hawaii, there was only one deer collision between 2011 and 2020. In Rhode Island, there was only one deer collision as well. Vermont, Delaware, and Massachusetts witnessed three crashes over this period. Researchers estimate that this is because these states are tiny.
15. Deer collisions are most likely to occur during a full moon (National Library of Medicine)
According to research, deer collisions are most likely to occur during a full moon, when the bright light of the moon blinds deer and makes them unable to spot moving cars.
How to Avoid Becoming a Deer-Vehicle Collision Statistic
Deer collisions are unfortunately prevalent across the United States and can be deadly – and damaging.
For this reason, it’s essential to take the proper precautions when driving—particularly at night.
Remember to use headlights and flick them on and off if you see a deer in the road. Be cautious during peak season and dinner time, and remain vigilant to deer crossing signals.
If you take the proper precautions, you can avoid becoming another statistic.