Where do drivers have the highest odds of hitting a deer with their vehicles? According to data released today by the State Farm Insurance Company, it’s West Virginia, where a driver’s chances of hitting a whitetail in the next 12 months are one in 57.
According to the company’s deer claims data from the last half of 2006 and the first half of 2007, combined with state motor vehicle registration numbers from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm confirms that The Mountain State is number one—with a bumper!
Coming in at number two is Michigan, where the likelihood of a specific vehicle striking a deer in next year is 1 in 86. Rounding out the top five are Wisconsin at 1 in 99; Pennsylvania with 1 in 100; and Iowa, 1 in 109.
The bottom half of the top ten consists of Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.
The state where motorists are least likely to smack a deer is Hawaii.
On the accompanying map, high-risk states are colored red, medium risk states are yellow, and low-risk states are green.
If you think like a racing handicapper, State Farm notes that West Virginia’s 1-in-57 odds are nearly three times higher than your possibility of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service in 2008, and 5,000 times higher than your likelihood of being struck by lightning in the next 12 months.
Further, the insurance company’s data shows the total number of deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. has increased 6.3 percent in the last year. The average property damage cost of these incidents was just under $2,900, up 3 percent from a year ago.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are approximately 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions annually, causing more than 150 fatalities and $1.1 billion in property damage.
To see where your state ranks, follow this link to the complete state-by-state listing.