What Are the Chances of Hitting a Deer in Your State?
New Study Finds Odds of Hitting a Deer in Pennsylvania are Strikingly High
Drivers near wooded areas know to always be on the lookout for deer, but even the most cautious drivers are still at risk of accidentally colliding with one of these animals at some point. Now, a new study has found that drivers in some states are far more likely than drivers in other US regions to have an unfortunate encounter with a deer while driving.
The study, sponsored by State Farm, uses claims data as well as national deer-related accident reports to determine your likelihood of colliding with a deer in the next 12 months. The recently-released study ranked each state based on their odds. One noteworthy finding from the research—if you live in Pennsylvania or West Virginia, you have some of the highest odds in the country of hitting a deer within the next year.
While some states' rankings are to be expected—like Hawaii's (#51), where citizens are three times more likely to be struck by lightning than to hit a deer—your own state's ranking may surprise you.
Here are the 10 states where drivers have the highest chance of hitting deer:
- West Virginia—the chances of hitting a deer here are 1 in 39
- Pennsylvania—1 in 71
- Montana—1 in 75
- Iowa—1 in 77
- South Dakota—1 in 82
- Mississippi—1 in 84
- Wisconsin—1 in 85
- Minnesota—1 in 88
- Virginia—1 in 88
- South Carolina—1 in 93
Drivers in these states should be especially cautious during October, November, and December. During mating and hunting seasons, deer are even more likely to take to the roads. Plus, as days become shorter the lack of visibility at night also increases your odds of a collision.
Keep these safety tips in mind as you drive this fall:
- Slow down and be on the lookout for deer crossing, especially near wooded areas
- Take extra caution if driving at dawn or dusk
- If you see a deer, assume there are others nearby
- Hit your brakes, but don't swerve to avoid a deer. More serious injuries can occur if you hit oncoming traffic or a telephone pole
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