<p><em>Photo courtesy of State Farm.</em></p>

Photo courtesy of State Farm.

VIDEO: Dealing With a Deer Collision

West Virginia drivers remain more likely than drivers in other states to have a collision with a deer or other large animal, with roughly one out of every 43 drivers in the state filing such an insurance claim, according to an annual State Farm study.

Nonetheless, West Virginia’s latest statistic represents a 4.7% drop from 2016, the study found. Each year, State Farm releases a deer claim study that ranks states by the likelihood a driver has of hitting a large animal such as a deer, elk, moose or caribou.

Montana drivers have a one in 57 chance of a deer collision, representing a 1.8% increase from last year. Pennsylvania drivers have a one in 63 chance of such a crash — a 6.3% increase from 2016, State Farm reported.

The top 10 states where a driver is most likely to have a large animal collision claim have remained fairly consistent. But Wisconsin this year moved into the top five, swapping positions with South Dakota. Wyoming moved into the top 10 at number eight. North Dakota moved up to number 10. South Carolina is no longer in the top 10. Thirteen states had no change in ranking, the study found.


2016-17 State Ranking

West Virginia










South Dakota








North Dakota


Source: State Farm

Mating season, which occurs in October, November and December, more than doubles the likelihood of a collision with a large animal. State Farm offers these tips to help drivers avoid such a crash:

  • Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
  • If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
  • Always buckle up — every trip, every time.
  • Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
  • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving. This can result in a more severe crash.
  • Remain focused on the road. Scan for hazards, including animals.
  • Avoid distractions. Devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
  • Don’t rely on products such as deer whistles. There’s no proof they’re effective.
  • If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear. Keep focus on the road ahead.

To view a video on what to do during and after a deer collision, click on the photo or link below the headline.