Here’s a question for you – do you think you have a greater chance of getting into a car crash with a deer or winning Powerball? If you guessed hitting a deer you’d be correct. You have a greater chance of getting into a collision with a deer, no matter what U.S. state you live in (even Hawaii), than winning the Powerball Jackpot – which by the way has odds of 1 in 175,223,510.

the odds favor a deer collision over winning the Powerball

2014’s Annual List from State Farm Insurance

Be particularly careful and follow safe driving tips if you live in one of these 5 states because your odds of having an accident claim from a collision with a deer, elk or moose are:

  1. West Virginia: Odds are 1 in 44
  2. Montana: Odds are 1 in 63
  3. Iowa: Odds are 1 in 68
  4. Pennsylvania: Odds are 1 in 70
  5. South Dakota: Odds are 1 in 73

Deer Accident Statistics

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually.
  • 1 out of every 169 drivers will collide with deer during the coming year.
  • An estimated 1.25 million insurance claims happened in the past year resulting from these collisions.

Follow These Driving Tips to Avoid Accidents with Deer and Other Wildlife:

Be Aware & Alert to Your Surroundings

deer crossing sign

  • Pay attention at deer crossing signs.
  • Deer travel in packs so if you see one deer there are probably others nearby.
  • Fall is peak season because of both hunting and mating – forcing deer to travel outside of their normal territory.
  • Dusk and dawn are feeding times.

Safe Driving

car driving at night

  • At night if you see a deer up ahead flash your lights – deer have a tendency to fixate on headlights so by flashing them you may get them to leave the area – some experts also recommend one long honk of your car horn.
  • Maintain control of your vehicle. Don’t veer off to avoid the animal if it seems like you can’t avoid a collision – your chances of injury may increase if you do.
  • And of course, drive the speed and wear your seat belt.

According to GEICO,”if you get into an accident with a deer call emergency services if injuries are involved or the local police if no one is injured, but damage has been caused to your property or someone else’s. Never touch an animal that is in the roadway. Report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible.”


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Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 16 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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