Although the number of miles driven by U.S. motorists increased by only 2 percent in five years, the number of vehicle-deer collisions rose by 10 times that amount, according to an analysis of car insurance claims data by State Farm.
The insurance company estimates that roughly 2.3 million vehicles collided with deer nationwide between July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2010. That’s a 21 percent increase compared to five years ago.
For the fourth consecutive year, West Virginia tops the list of riskiest states for these type of collisions. State Farm pegs the chance of a West Virginia driver striking a deer over the next year at 1 in 42.
Iowa is the No. 2 state on the list and the chance of a licensed driver striking a deer in the next year is 1 in 67. In Michigan, which ranks at No. 3, the chance is 1 in 70. Fourth and fifth on the list are South Dakota (1 in 76) and Montana (1 in 82). Pennsylvania is sixth, followed by North Dakota and Wisconsin. Arkansas and Minnesota round out the top 10. Drivers are least likely to hit a deer in Hawaii, where the chance is 1 in 13,011.
Deer-vehicle collisions kill about 200 drivers and passengers in the United States each year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The average property damage cost was $3,103, up 1.7 percent from a year ago.