The worst states for deer collisions

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9 2013 11:52 p.m. MDT


With the hopes of curbing deer collisions, the Utah Department of Transportation has spent more than $47 million on changes to the highway-bypass system since 2005, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Just last May, UDOT built an 11-mile fence along U.S. Highway 89 east of Kanab. According to a report by KSL, between 1,000 and 2,000 deer cross that highway twice a year, leading to an estimated 100 to 105 deer collisions per year on U.S. 89 alone.

The state of Utah as a whole this year is projected to have 8,488 car accidents involving one or more deer, according to State Farm Insurance predictions which place the state as one of the more deer-dangerous in the country.

The chance of a collision in Utah, according to the same report, is estimated to be roughly 1 in 205.9.

So what does that mean for your car insurance?

According to a report by Jay MacDonald at Bankrate.com, the Insurance Information Institute says the average auto insurance claim for a deer collision stands at more than $3,000.

“Logic might suggest that such crashes would fall under the collision portion of your policy,” MacDonald writes. “But instead, animal-related damage is typically treated as an "other than collision" claim under your comprehensive coverage, or ‘comp,’ which covers so-called acts of God such as wind, hail and flood, as well as fire, vandalism and theft.”

Bankrate also says not all deer-related accidents result from a collision. "A lot of times, you may not hit the deer; the deer may hit you or leap onto your car,” Ohio Insurance Institute spokesman Mitch Wilson told Bankrate. Here are the 30 states with the worst record for deer collisions.
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Mark from Montana
Aurora, CO

Never swerve to miss a deer or any animal smaller than a deer. Just take it out and accept the damage. Swerving will simply increase your likelihood of losing control and rolling, or hitting another car.

metamora, IL

Yeah, I'm sorry, but there is no way Illinois ins't in the top 30 in this category.


I hope these statistics take into account items such as total vehicle miles driven in deer-prevalent sections of road, seasonally and time-of-day adjusted.
I had the chance to study and implement Deer Control Fencing along N CA Highways, and watched the "Horn-locking" between true Wildlife Biologists and Landscape Architects, and Environmental Activists.
Be advised that deer are not just "Foragers"; acorns and such, but quite also "Browsers"; young and tender leaves of varying specific varieties. Plant roadside vegetation with thought and care.
Put your prejudices aside and take the time to respectfully seek the advice of Local Hunters and Provisioners. They know where the deer are, and know their migration paths and patterns.

Would one rather herd-thinning feed a family, or random road-kills feed landfills ??

Podunk, UT

How in the world would Utah be considered one of the worst states for hitting deer, when we are ranked 30 on this list? That is not even in the top half. 30th out of 50! That sounds fairly good to me. Now, if we were say, in the top 10 I could understand this article stating we are in one of the worst, but come on....30TH!? Really?

Pendleton, OR

From my days as a long-haul truck driver I must say I was surprised that Pennsylvania wasn't first and Ohio and Kentucky didn't tie for second. I always found that Utah was about average; the data suggests better than average so perhaps those efforts at changing deer crossings are doing some good. Still seems like lots of money when it would be much easier to just curtail driving during certain hours at certain locations. Or at least educate drivers better about the risks.

Back east the deer move across the roads at almost anytime but out here I would bet that 90% of deer/vehicle conflicts occur within an hour either side of sunset or sunrise.

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