Dead skunks in the middle of the road may stink to high heaven, but it’s deer that the insurance industry frowns upon. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, deer are responsible for one-third of all animal claims. That’s why auto insurance giant State Farm conducts an annual study of claims from deer and other ungulates like moose, caribou and moose. The company uses data gathered from the claims history of 44.1 million insured drivers to predict the total number of deer strikes across the industry and determine which states drivers are most at risk for. The state farm also issues an interactive map showing where the risk is greatest.

State Farm 2022 Deer Map Update.

State Farm

As in previous years, in 2022 the insurer says West Virginia is the state with the highest risk, with one in 35 accident claims involving animals. Montana, South Dakota, Michigan and Wisconsin round out the top five. The lowest risk last year was in Nevada, where just one in 698 claims involved a collision with an animal, plus Hawaii, Arizona, Florida and, surprisingly, Alaska. The charts below show the statistics as of 2018.

deer condition card odds

Car and driver

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Car and driver

Text, yellow, font, line, parallel, circle,

Car and driver

This story was originally published in the August 2018 issue.

Bright facts


November is not only the month to grow a mustache to raise awareness of men’s health issues, it’s also the time of mating season when you’re most likely to hit a deer. For deer. Not for you.

Do not turn right. Or to the left

Take your foot off the gas pedal and brake in a straight line if you see an animal on the road. What may be a minor collision often escalates when a driver trying to avoid an animal drifts out of their lane and collides with another object or rolls their car.

A menagerie of tragedies

Top five animals hit by cars
1. Deer 2. Raccoons 3. Dogs 4. Turkeys 5. Coyotes

The data is presented National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Mass effect

Experts say the level of the threat of road homicide increases with size. Animals that weigh more than 500 pounds, such as cows, prove to be the most fatal for high-speed drivers. And despite the realism of Tommy Boy, cases where animals survived the impact and then attacked the vehicle are rare.

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