Virtually every mile I’ve driven since age 16 has been logged in whitetail country. Somehow I’ve managed to hit only two deer during that span. Actually both of those whitetails ran into me, but this is a technicality insurance companies don’t recognize.
Statistically, I’ve been pretty lucky. According to State Farm Insurance, the nation’s leading auto insurer, the number of deer/vehicle collisions is on the rise; an estimated 2.4 million deer were hit by vehicles from July 2007 to July 2009. That averages out to 100,000 incidents per month, or one every 26 seconds.
Some 35 states will notch at least 7,000 deer/car collisions each year. States with the top increases in deer wrecks were New Jersey and Nebraska, up 54% from the previous recording period. Kansas wasn’t far behind with a 41% increase, followed by 38% jumps in Florida, Mississippi and Arkansas.
The state where you’re most likely to whack a whitetail? West Virginia! State Farm says your chances of bonking a deer there in a one-year period is 1 in 39. Michigan is distant second; Wolverine State drivers have a 1 in 78 chance of striking a whitetail. Pennsylvania tallied a 1 in 94 chance, Montana and Iowa tied at 1 in104, and rounding out the top five was Arkansas with the odds at 1 in 106. The least likely state for a deer to wreck a car is predictable; Hawaiian drivers stand only a 1 in 9,931 chance, about the same odds they enjoy for finding a four-leaf clover.
So how ’bout you guys? Have you managed to avoid deer wrecks, or do you somehow figure into the statistics in the State Farm report?