deer collision

This past week, State Farm® released their annual animal/deer collision research. According to their findings, Pennsylvania drivers rank first in the nation for the number of animal collisions claims with just over 166,000 animal collision claims filed in July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. 

Deer made up the majority of damage to vehicles from animals. Pennsylvania drivers have a 1 in 54 chance of colliding with an animal while driving. The national average is 1 in 109.

Most animal-related crashes in the U.S. occur from October to December. While most collisions are with deer, many other animals followed closely behind such as dogs, cats, farm animals, and rodents. 

Nationally, the insurance industry paid for an estimated 2.1 million animal collisions over the past 12 months (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021). That is a 7.2% increase compared to the previous 12-month period (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020). Of those collisions,  67% (1.4 million claims) involved a deer collision. 

Claim costs for animal collisions can vary wildly, ranging from a bumper scratch to a total loss; the value depends, among other variables, on the size of the animal that you strike.

Top 10 States for State Farm Animal Collision claims:

  1. Pennsylvania – 166,404

  2. Michigan – 132,387

  3. Texas – 131,373

  4. California – 104,767

  5. North Carolina – 98,409

  6. New York – 98,101

  7. Georgia – 87,500

  8. Ohio – 84,703

  9. Virginia – 78,575

  10. Wisconsin – 76,110                       

Animal Collision Safety Tips:

  • Slow down. Reduce your vehicle's speed and maintain a constant lookout for animals. Travel at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if an animal comes into the beam cast by your headlights.

  • Use extra caution and slow-down in known animal crossing zones.

  • Dusk to dawn are high-risk times; use high beams when appropriate.

  • Scan the road and avoid swerving when you see an animal. Brake firmly when you notice an animal in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.

  • Always wear your seatbelt.

After-crash tips:

  • Move your vehicle to a safe place: Pull to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.

  • Call police: If an animal is blocking traffic and could become a threat for other drivers.

  • Document: Take photographs of the road, your surroundings, and damages.

  • Stay away from the animal: A frightened, wounded animal could use its legs and hooves to harm you. Do not attempt to move an animal.

  • Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive: Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights and other hazards.

  • Contact your insurance company: Quickly file your insurance claim.

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This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.