10 States Where You’re Most Likely To Hit a Deer — and How To Avoid It

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Two deer on the road
Sean Thomforde / Shutterstock.com

Now that November has arrived, drivers in some states need to be extra careful when they climb behind the wheel.

Collisions between cars and animals peak during November, with about 297,000 crashes occurring nationwide during the month, according to new data from State Farm. And deer top the list of animals most likely to be involved in these accidents.

Nationwide, a driver has a 1 in 127 chance of colliding with any type of animal. You are most likely to hit a deer, followed by rodents, dogs, raccoons and coyotes.

Here are the states where you are most in danger of colliding with an animal.

1. West Virginia

Bridge over New River in West Virginia
Mark Ross / Shutterstock.com

The odds of a driver hitting an animal in this state: 1 in 38 (compared with 1 in 127 nationally)

There are an estimated 550,000 deer in West Virginia, according to A-Z Animals. All of them are white-tail deer.

2. Montana

Billings Montana
Gary C. Tognoni / Shutterstock.com

The odds of a driver hitting an animal in this state: 1 in 53 (compared with 1 in 127 nationally)

There are about 507,000 deer in Montana, according to A-Z Animals. About 300,000 are mule deer, and 213,000 are white-tail deer.

3. Pennsylvania

Covered Bridge in Washington County, Pennsylvania
Kenneth Keifer / Shutterstock.com

The odds of a driver hitting an animal in this state: 1 in 59 (compared with 1 in 127 nationally)

There are about 1.5 million deer in Pennsylvania, according to A-Z Animals. All of them are white-tail deer.

The rest of the top 10

Battle Creek, Michigan
NCSchneider_Images / Shutterstock.com

Here are the remaining states where animal collisions are most likely:

  • Michigan: 1 in 60
  • Wisconsin: 1 in 60
  • Iowa: 1 in 63
  • Mississippi: 1 in 64
  • South Dakota: 1 in 69
  • Virginia: 1 in 78
  • Missouri: 1 in 80

How to avoid hitting a deer

Deer lying down in a field.
Songpon BENCHA / Shutterstock.com

If you live in a state on this list — or any other place with a significant deer population — State Farm recommends following these tips to lower your risk of a collision:

  • Always scan ahead for animals as you drive, particularly if you see signs such as “deer crossing.”
  • Slow down when you see animals along the road.
  • If you see one deer, you can assume others are nearby — so exercise extra caution.
  • Reduce distractions, such as from a cellphone.
  • Avoid swerving if a crash seems inevitable. It is better to maintain control of your car even if that means a collision.
  • Flick your high beams at night: This can cause animals to flee.

The period of October through December is both hunting and mating season, and this is when a deer collision is most likely. That means drivers should be on high alert during this time.

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