These Are Your State-by-State Odds of Hitting a Deer

What are your odds of hitting a deer in a car collision? Californians have it pretty good, but others have it far worse. See the map and check your chances.

These Are Your State-by-State Odds of Hitting a Deer

Take a look at the map and you’ll see that California has it pretty good. At least when it comes to their odds of hitting a deer in a car collision.

Even so, when we posted our first deer-collision themed story earlier this summer, a Grand View Outdoors reader quickly commented that — even in California — he wasn’t so lucky. “Still managed to wreck the front of my pickup on a deer in California,” wrote C. Lewis. “Guess I need to move to Hawaii.”

Ahhhh, Hawaii. Now, that’s a state that’s truly sitting pretty. While Californians have a 1-to-1,117 chance of hitting a deer with their vehicles, the odds of someone who lives in Hawaii striking a deer are only 1-in-6,823.

Meanwhile, West Virginia is so screwed. Those poor people have a 1-in-43 chance of their vehicles colliding with a deer, and Montana is not far behind with 1-57 odds.

View the hi-res version by clicking the map. Data provided by State Farm Deer Claim Study, 2017Image: Justin "Spook" Lancaster

At just a quick glance, you can see the eastern U.S. has more deer collisions due to two obvious factors: denser deer populations and denser human populations. Louisiana and Florida are exceptions. The odds of hitting a deer in those states are low by comparison. The same is true for New England states Massachusetts and Connecticut, with odds of hitting a deer coming in at 1-in-593 and 1-in-304, respectively.

Nationwide, more than 1,900 fatal accidents have been attributed to drivers hitting animals in the road — most of them deer — over the past decade, according to the Insurance Institute for Public Safety.

According to New Jersey Real-Time News, “all animal-related claims nationwide went up 6 percent over a four-year period, the insurance data found."

Real-Life Deer Collisions, Real-Life People

Just in the month of August alone, Twitter had no shortage of users posting their recent experiences with deer collisions or near misses. For many, it’s an incident notable enough to post, but common enough that the news comes as no real surprise. Many posts projected a  "what are ya gonna do," mentality.

On August 15, Twitter user Augustine posted, “Guys I just hit a deer.” He’s from Texas. And his odds of this collision coming to fruition were 1-in-269.

Missouri native Logan Summers ended up with a wrecked car and flat tire after colliding with a deer earlier this month. Photo: Logan Summers (Twitter)

Logan Summers of Greentop, Missouri, posted, “hit a deer and got a flat tire all within an hour. How’s your Wednesday night going?” At 1-in-112, Logan's odds were stacked against him.  And, you know, that's unfair. Judging by his Twitter profile photo (at right), he's a generous guy and good friend, always willing to shave a buddy's back hair.

Another guy, Jake Jacko of White Oak, Pennsylvania, posted that he swerved to miss a deer, nearly hitting another car head on. Jacko had a 1-in-63 chance of hitting that deer. Luckily, this Penn State Alum managed to miss both the deer and the oncoming car.

Meanwhile another Missouri incident took place, this time near St. Louis, when Katheryn Meara collided with a deer. In the moments after the incident she looked back to see her brother, his clothing stained red. She was super freaked, but it was OK.

"Hit a deer in my smart car and I'm still alive, I'm just as shocked as you are,” she posted. “However I thought my 6-year-old brother's snow cone was deer blood, so I pulled over and asked if he was okay and he says, 'ugh seriously I just spilled my snow cone and now I'm sticky and you need a need window.'”

Lastly, we’ll leave you with Rachel. Her profile doesn’t say where she’s from, but she shared a photo of her family’s totaled car with this message: “Dear @ImNotScottySire, recently my dad hit a deer and our car was totaled. My dog was in the car and got flung from his seat and could have died if he wasn’t saved by your 'too much' scotty merch. So thank you for making sweatshirts that are comfy, but also save lives <3.”

Yay for life-saving sweatshirts and little dogs who need soft landing spots after deer collisions.

For a list of each state, their deer-collision rank, odds and year-over-year changes in claims, go here.


Featured photo: John Hafner


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